Skip to main content

Full text of "Knight Letter No. 56"

See other formats


]K^]nuL<pflhit ]L(eMtteF 



THE LEWIS CARROLL 



^ 



SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA NUMBER 56 WINTER 1997 




Lewis ('arroll at St. John's University 

By August A Iinhollz, Jr. 

The Fall meeting of our Society took place in con- 
junction with the first annual "Conference on Creativity" at 
the College of St Benedict and St John's University in 
Collegeville, Minnesota, on October IT^'^and I8^*\ 1997. The 
theme of the conference was "The Creativity of Lewis 
Carroll" : hence our presence. (Since papers were delivered at 
concurrent sessions, 1 was not able to attend every session 
and so have relied on some reports from other participants. 1 
particularly want to thank Francine Abeles, Genevieve Smith, 
David Schaefer, and Alan Tannenbaum for their help.) 

Only a half-hour was allowed for registration on 
that clear cool Friday afternoon, so when Charlie Lovett, David 
Schaefer. and I got to St. Benedict's College (essentially the 
women's college ), from St. John's (the men's), some four 
nules up the road, we were just in time to meet Joel Bircnbaum 
Iciiding a group of our members and other people to the open- 
ing lecture Even though we did not yet have our conference 
badges, we were somehow recognized and. of course, warmly 
welcomed 

Dr. Michael Handier, Professor of English at the 
University of Minnesota, who last spoke to us at Harvard's 
Houghton Library on May 8"\ 1981, about his then forth- 
coming book I'hc Tennicl Illustrations to the Alice Books. 
delivered the opening lecture entitled "Tcnniel's Illustrations 
and Riice at the Great Exhibition of 185 1" Tennicl. of course, 
was John Tennicl. launch artist and illustrator, and the Great 
Exhibition refers to the Crystal Palace exhibition in London, 
the first of the modern World's Fairs. On the basis of his 
illustrations for an edition of y^sop in 1848, Prof Handler 
began, John Tennicl had come to the attention of the editors 
of Punch, which in its early days had been a liberal and pro- 
gressive publication. Only three years later, Tennicl, then a 
Punch staff artist, had the honor of being selected to draw 
the cover illustration of the three-volume official description 
and illustrated catalog of the Great Exhibition. If his cartoon 
for Punch Vol. XX showing a toga-clad Punch standing atop 
a pedestal pointing to the great glass facade of the Crystal 
Palace in the background and surrounded by a circus of 
Grandville-like animals is a comic comment on the Great Exhi- 



bition, his catalog cover was a far more serious thing For the 
exhibition catalog cover, Tenniel depicts the heroization of 
labor under the protection of St. George and Peace. Statues 
representing Africa, Asia, Europe, and America represent 
the four continents with Britannia in the center — much as 
the Victorians saw the world at mid-century. Figures in shadow 
are from other culmres; the ones in light are, of course, Brit- 
ish. Many subtle features of the Tenniel iconography were 
convincingly interpreted by Prof Hancher. For example, he 
showed how the shape of the headdress on the Indian figure 
representing America was actually patterned after Hector's 
helmet in Flaxnian's famous illustrations of Homer 's///W. In 
Tennicl s view, according to Professor Hancher, the great 
exhibition celebrating the unity of all the races of mankind 
was really a celebration of one race, the English, ratlier llian 
all. In addition to analyzing the catalog cover, Hancher dis- 
cussed Tcnniel's handling of the Negro slave statute by Hiram 
Powers and other aspects of Tcnniel's interpretation of the 
exhibition. As a coda to his lecture, he showed the diversity 
of races some see in IhQ Alice illustrations to the "Mouse's 
Tale" episode and the "Presentation of the Thimble" and, 
closer to our hosts in Minnesota, he concluded with some 
slides of the splendid Christmas Alice decorations from a 
local Minneapolis department store in 1980. Though not di- 
rectly about Lewis Carroll, Tennicl is unarguably integral to 
any Carroll studies and this finely illustrated and well-re- 
searched lecture showed us another aspect of the Victorian 
world-view, the world in which Charles Dodgson was grow- 
ing up. 

At 6:30 p.m., still at St. Benedict's College, we en- 
joyed a delightful reception and Carrollian tea parly during 
which several St. John's students entertained us with a lively 
setting of the song "In a Place Called Wonderland" The 
evening concluded with a resounding performance of Carroll 
poems set to music and some more traditional pieces per- 
formed by the Minnesota Center Chorale Chamber Singers 
under the direction of Professor Phil Welter. The songs in- 
cluded the well known "Some Folks Do " and "Beautiful Dream- 
ers " by Stephen Foster, Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday", 
Irving Fein's Alice songs "The Lobster Quadrille" and "Fa- 
ther William " from 1 943, a wonderful Latin Amencan "Allc- 



LIBERTY MEADOWS 



FRANK CHO 



HEY LEiLIE.THlJ H 
GREaT nuFF 1 H3D 
loME TREPlPaTloMX 
3BO0T Your CooKinQ, 
BUT TWir Lf PELICIouf. 



FLaTTERER 





WHaT KIKP OF 
MUSMRooMJ ? 

/ 

MaKl 1 M IN THl 



OUMNo. WHY ^ 



Moop For Some \ 
'JEFFERloN aiRpiaNE: \ 




luia" (in Latin) composed in 1970, balanced by Bach's Sixth 
Motet, and finally the delightful Sam Pottle ' Jabbenvocky" 
set to accompaniment by Fisher-Price children's toy musical 
instruments. 

At St. John's University on the shore of Lake 
Sagatagan on Saturday, the day's events began at 9:00 a.m. 
with a panel discussing, appropriately, the question of how 
we understand creativity. Professor Marty Andrews cited 
John Updike's comment to the effect that creativity is just a 
plush name for any activity done "right of better ". In trying 
to focus our attention on the different aspects of creativity, 
he enumerated the "Seven Marks of Creativity " rather like 
the marks of the Snark: 

1 . Creativity is more rightly ascribed to acts or works than 
to individuals 

2. Creative insight or illumination of- 
ten involves the perception of meta- 
phor or analogy 

3. There is no algorithm to induce 
creativity, we can only hope to in- 
crease its probability 

4. Everyone is creative to some ex- 
tent, e.g. 70% of our discourse is 
original to us 

5. Creativity may require many dif- 
ferent types of courage 

6. Hard work and intelligence are 
necessary in the creative endeavor 

7. The time, Kaipoq "kairos", has to 
be right (especially relevant for en- 
counters of the Snark kind too) 

Although this was an inter- 
esting shopping list, I did think it 
helped us only slightly more than the 
Bellman's list of the five unmistakable 
marks of the warranted genuine Snarks 
helped the Baker. 

In the second of three talks in this introductory ses- 
sion. Professor Jennifer Galovich illustrated how creativity 
in mathematical thinking can occur when one applies a known 
to solve an apparently unrelated problem. As an example, 
she selected the means by which Archimedes had figured 
out the relationship between parabolas inscribed within a 
tnangle and the remaining space. I thought I understood this 
quite clearly until, in summarizing the procedure to Joel 
Birenbaum, 1 somehow confused "parabola" with "parallelo- 
gram" (after all, they both begin on a "par") and I fear 
Dodgson (not to mention Archimedes) would have been quite 
disappointed with me. 

Finally, in the third paper of the first session. Pro- 
fessor Michael Livingston addressed the subject of cogni- 
tive development in creativity from the point of view of a 
child learning a language. In a very interesting lecture, he 
showed how a child's linguistic "mistakes" are often the re- 
sult of formulating rules. While stressing the all-absorbing 
nature of the creative process, he hazarded a few characteris- 
tics of the "creative person", who: a) is a good planner. 




b) has extensive preparation for his or her work, c) expends 
prodigious amounts of energy, e) tends to be intelligent, 
tends to be ironic or playliil, g) has a high level of mental 
fluency, h) is very conscious of tradition and willing to go 
beyond it, i) has a high level of education, j) enjoys social 
position affording time for the activity, and k) is often sad 
when the work is completed. 

Concurrent with the first panel, Fr. Magnus J. 
Wenninger, O.S.B., led a discussion of a question raised by 
Lewis Carroll in a letter of May 1897: "Am 1 right," Carroll had 
asked, "in thinking that space could be filled (barring certain 
interstices) with equal spheres, each touching twelve oth- 
ers?" Professor Francine Abeles, Professor David Schaefer, 
Alan Tannenbaum, and Br. Bradley Jennings spent a fasci- 
nating hour interactively trying to understand precisely what 
Carroll was asking in this letter The 
five of them concluded in agreeing 
that they understood the question, 
but not the answer. Since then the 
question has been put up on the Poly- 
hedron Site on the World Wide Web 
and several answers have been sug- 
gested. Fr. Wenninger, it should be 
noted, is a world authority on pack- 
ing polyhedra. Unfortunately, 1 was 
not able to aUend the simulations of 
Carroll's committee problems pre- 
sented by Prof Chuck Rambeck and 
Jim Murphy which occurred at the 
same time as the creativity panel and 
the dodecahedron discussion. 

At 11:00 am. Professor 
Morton N. Cohen delivered the key- 
note address of the conference, 
"Lewis Carroll's Creativity", adding 
something new and stimulating based 
on his lifelong study of Carroll and 
his works. In the first half or so of his lecture. Professor 
Cohen summarized the major events of Lewis Carroll's life 
emphasizing again some of the points made in his masterftil 
biography of Carroll, like the centrality of his forthright faith 
(an excellent point to stress in the surroundings of a 
Benedictine monastery). In the second half of his talk, how- 
ever. Prof. Cohen turned specifically to Carroll's creativity. 
We are all imitators. Lord Chesterfield said "we are in truth 
more than half what we are by imitation." What then makes 
an artist? Most of what we term brilliant work is the result of 
cerebration rather than inspiration. Prof Cohen distinguished 
two kinds of artists: 1) visionaries who live constantly in a 
state of epiphany — a class that includes Homer, Dante, 
Shakespeare, and Blake; and 2) lesser mortals who experi- 
ence epiphanic acts of creation once, twice, or even many 
times, but do not live in that special ether — they are only 
visited by epiphanies. In that second class he places Lewis 
Carroll. The flashes of epiphany do have some terrestnal 
connections and the fertile ground for Carroll's first epipha- 
nies, which Cohen limits to Ihe Alice books and The Hunting 



of the Snark, are these circumstances occurring in close tem- 
poral proximity: his professional appointment in mathemat- 
ics, which grounded his life; his encounter with the three 
daughters of Dean Henry George Liddell; and his taking up 
of the new art of photography. The inspirational spark which 
eventually precipitated the nonsense poem The Hunting of 
the Snark began with the single line "For the Snark was a 
Boojum you see", which came to Carroll as he wandered 
exhausted after sitting all night at the bedside of his sick 
cousin Charlie Wilcox. To the poem "Jabberwocky" Prof 
Cohen, perhaps somewhat reluctantly, accords the status of 
a "minor epiphany". For these three works are works of in- 
spiration, not objects of imitation: in other words, art. 

After lunch, which I found by wandering along cor- 
ridors, down stairs, around cloisters, and finally entering the 
refectory through the kitchen, we again began with three 
concurrent sessions. Fernando J. Soto, operating on the 
Humpty Dumpty principle that a name must mean something, 
gave us a delightful etymological tour through some famous 
CarroUian passages and some less familiar examples of 
Carroirs multi-level puns in his talk "Carroll's Sense and 
Nonsense". Although he sometimes pushed his thesis rather 
far down the list of possible lexical allusions, he did find 
some very interesting circumstantial evidence for word as- 
sociations in English dialects, Latin, and Greek. One of the 
most intriguing examples is Carroll's comment on meeting 
Lottie Rix when he turned her around looking for a "tremen- 
dous lot of hair" — the common Classical Greek word for hair 
being Tpix"thrix". 

At the same time [and one letter away]. Professor 
James Pofif was examining insects in the Alice books. He 
commented entymologically [see?] on the caterpillar (the only 
insect of any importance in Wonderland), and the whole ar- 
ray of insects in Through the Looking-Glass from the gnat 
onward, with an intriguing discussion of the wasp in the 
suppressed "Wasp in the Wig" chapter. On the wasp's ring- 
lets that waved, he pointed out that wasps do not really have 
any appreciable head hair but the males of the Polistes wasp 
do have antennae which narrow in a hair-like fashion and 
form a distinct ring-like structure which the male waves dur- 
ing courtship behavior. Since the wasp had a newspaper it 
was probably a social wasp and indeed Polistes are known 
as the paper wasps because of the paper they use to con- 
struct their nests. Professor Poff, in Looking-Glass fashion, 
ended by observing that the made-up insects are, like the 
bread and butterfly, food constructs, so he offered us some 
real insect food: cricket-chip cookies! 

While those two papers were being delivered, 
Stephanie Stofifel gave the second reading of Alice excerpts 
in the Maxine Schaefer Memorial Reading for Children pro- 
gram. Stephanie was introduced to the audience of about 100 
parents and children by her own daughter, Lucy Lovett, just 
as David Schaefer, who had made some introductory remarks 
to the group about his late wife Maxine Schaefer (a founding 
member of LCSNA and its secretary for 20 years), was pon- 
dering what to say by way of introduction of Stephanie. She 
read passages from^//ce to very attentive children for about 



45 minutes and then distributed 71 copies of the Books of 
Wonder edition to the children attending. Each copy con- 
tained a bookplate, designed by Jonathan Dixon, reading 
"The Maxine Schaefer Memorial Children's Outreach Fund" 
below a drawing of a little girl reading yi//ce framed by a 
window arch along the sides of which dormice cavort while 
in the triangular space at the top between the sides of the 
arch and the rectangular frame can be seen a bathing ma- 
chine and a teapot. 

A reception, to allow authors to sign their books 
and artist Michael Osterweil, who had painted the posters 
for the conference as well as a whole sequence of Alice paint- 
ings, to sign his posters and cards, was held before the 
afternoon's keynote address by Professor Francine Abeles. 

The title of Professor Abeles' lecture was "Lewis 
Carroll's Mathematical Inventions". She began by pointing 
out that Dodgson's mathematical work divides into the fol- 
lowing categories: 

1. Mathematical inventions, the subject of this lecture 

2. Standard theoretical treatises, like \^s Elementary Trea- 
tise on Determinants or Curiosa Mathematica, Part 1 

3. Puzzles and paradoxes in the realm of what today is called, 
at least by some, recreational mathematics 

4. Logic, best exempHfied in Symbolic Logic and 

5. Textbooks for students. 

Professor Abeles decided to focus her remarks on 
just four different mathematical inventions out of his many: 
Dodgson's "Letter Register", his cryptographic contribu- 
tions, his work on the "Automatic Calendar ', and his "Lawn 
Tennis Tournament Rules". 

The "Letter Register" probably grew out of 
Dodgson's desire for precision and the practical need of keep- 
ing track of his immense correspondence (estimates of actual 
number of letters Dodgson wrote vary fi-om 50.000 to 98,000). 
He wrote more letters than Charles Dickens and Heruy James 
combined, and in the opinion of this writer, probably far more 
amusing ones. Although the 24 volumes of his letter register 
have not survived, we do know that the last entry bore the 
number 98,72 1 . The links by which the letter register is orga- 
nized are explained in Carroll's little work "Eight or Nine Wise 
Words about Letter Writing". Professor Abeles, in going 
through Carroll's instructions for making up Uiis kind of cross- 
referential register with attenuated content notes, explained 
how the principles Carroll devised resemble the basic ele- 
ments used in modem database design, e.g. the link field, in 
today's database terminology, is represented in Carroll's reg- 
ister by the cross reference (letter number) linking letters on 
the same subject but having different names. With the help 
of transparencies, she showed how, for example, the footers 
and headers in the entries fimction as forward and backward 
pointers. Examples of multi-threaded cross-referencing for 
relating letters on the same subject and a kind of deletion, 
again to use database terminology, for letters that he was 
"done with" were illustrated. 

If Carroll's interest in the letter register grew at least 
in part from his practical needs, his interest in ciphers was a 
reflection of a more widespread interest and requirement, es- 



pecially in wartime, for secure transmission of messages by 
telegraph In lusdiar>' entry for April 22. 1868. Carroll wrote 
"sitting up at night I invented a new cipher, which I think of 
calling 'The Telegraph Cipher' " We now know from his pre- 
viously unpublished diaries that Carroll had also invented 
two other ciphers ten years earlier. Again with the help of her 
transparencies. Professor Abeles explained how his periodic 
polyalphabetic ciphers worked, and, intriguingly. how Carroll 
anticipated another principle of the computer, i.e. his inclu- 
sion of information about the decipherment within the 
enciphered message — this is "the idea of treating instruc- 
tions as if they were data" and resembles the "stored pro- 
gram" concept of modem computers. [See "Carroll s Cryp- 
tography" on p. 8] 

In the March 31, 1887 issue of Nature Dodgson 
published under his famous pseudonym an article called "To 
Find the Day of the Week for any Given Date" in which he 
proposed a simple method to compute mentally the day of 
the week for any date. Here is how it works: 

Take the given date in 4 portions, viz. the number of centu- 
nes. the number of years over, the month, and the day of 
the month. Compute the following 4 items, adding each, 
when found, to the total of the previous items. When an 
item or total exceeds 7, divide by 7, and keep the remainder 
only. 

The Century-Item. For Old Style (which ended Sept. 2, 1752) 
subtract from 18. For New Style (which began Sept. 14, 
1752) divide by 4, take overplus from 3, multiply remainder 
by 2. 

The Year-Item. Add together the number of dozens, the 
overplus, and the number of 4's in the overplus. 

The Month-Item. If it begins or ends with a vowel, subtract 
the number, denoting its place in the year, from 10. This, 
plus its number of days, gives the item for the following 
month. The item for January is "0"; for March (the third 
month), "3" : for December (the twelfth Month), " 1 2" . 

The Day-Item is the Day of the Month. The total, thus 
reached, must be corrected, by deducting "1" (first adding 
7, if the total be "0"), if the date be January or February in a 
Leap Year: remembering that every year divisible by 4 is a 
leap year, excepting the century years, in New Style, when 
the number of centuries is not so divisible (e.g. 1800). The 
final result gives the day of the week, "0" meaning Sunday, 
"1" Monday, and so on." 

Professor Abeles also explained Dodgson's simpli- 
fication of Karl Friedrich (jauss' rule, first published in 1800, 
for finding the date of Easter and, perhaps more intriguingly, 
of Christian Zeller's "completely arithmetic method for find- 
ing the day of the week for any given date in which a fiinc- 
tion replaces the month table". Dodgson grappled with the 
attempt to formulate a completely arithmetical algorithm to 
find the day of the week. He succeeded in devising a formula 
which worked for the number of days in every month except 



February and asked for help from the mathematical commu- 
nity in the Educational Times of 1 September. 1897. 

Lastly we were treated to a short exposition of 
Carroll's "Lawn Tennis Tournaments" in which he tried to 
design a method "in modem terminology, of a triple elimina- 
tion toumament that captured the essence of what was re- 
quired, at reduced cost, where cost equals the number of 
games played." Dodgson had been complaining about the 
knockout toumament that reliably only chooses the first prize 
winner with the second and third prizes often being unjustly 
awarded. Dodgson's method. Professor Abeles explained, 
can be interpreted as a kind of sorting problem. 

In sum, it was clearly demonstrated that Dodgson 
occupied himself with inventive mathematical thought from 
the early ciphers composed while he was in his twenties to 
the calendar question submitted to the mathematical world 
six months before his death. 

Before Professor Abeles' talk I just had time to see 
one act of the interactive play of "Alice in Wonderland", 
which was presented in some 35 interactive performances 
wonderfully directed by Ms. Karin Johnston Alan 
Tannebaum and 1 were about the only adults among some 10 
- 15 children who crawled into one of the big inflated scene 
spaces for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. That segment was 
delightful and I believe little Lucy Lovett is planning to share 
with us her experiences of the whole play. 

In the nave of the original church of St. John's 
Benedictine Monastery at CoUegeville, we all (about sev- 
enty people) gathered for cocktails and a delicious dinner, 
serenaded again by Pogi Sumangil and the other members of 
the Funky Tea Addicts with their "Free Fallin'" and "At the 
Tea Party". Professor Charles Thombury of St. John's, orga- 
nizer of the conference, thanked the many members of the 
university who had contributed to its success and Joel 
Birenbaum of our Society, who had mounted exhibits from 
his own impressive collection, helped schedule speakers, and 
encouraged so many of us to journey to the auricle of the 
American heartland. Joel then expressed his thanks to Pro- 
fessor Thombury for the splendid events of the past two 
days, the hospitality of the university, and the friendly re- 
ception experienced by all of us. 

From the narthex of the sometime monastic church, 
we adjoumed to a modem projection room where a number 
of us were entertained by a selection of films from David 
Schaefer's private collection ranging from the 1903 Cecil 
Hepworth film to the 1960ish Three Stooges presentation of 
"Curly in Wonderland". ^ 

As we left the university, we could just barely dis- 
cern in the growing darkness above Marcel Breuer's con- 
crete bell banner stmcture towering over the Abbey Church 
something twinkling like a tea tray in the sky. 



Dodgson 's "Resident Women-Students" discuss his views on single- 
sex schools. Saint Benedict and his twin sister Saint Scholastica are 
an important brother/sister combination in the history of the Church. 
The cooperation between these two schools is an excellent model of 
this in action. 



Ravings from the Writing Desk 
of Joel Birenbaum 

I am proud to announce that the opening event of 
the Lewis Carroll Centenary Celebration was a great success. 
The report on the "Conference on Creativity" was presented 
previously in this issue, but I would like to discuss one par- 
ticularly pleasing aspect of it. Unlike our regular LCSNA meet- 
ings, the centenary has given us the opportunity to expand 
the scope of our gatherings to include people of varying 
levels of interest in Carroll and of all ages, including young 
children. As in a community, this diversity may dilute the 
intensity of our focus a bit, but it increases our perspective 
and adds to our overall enjoyment. 

There was something for everyone on the program. 
There were academic Carroll presentations as well as non- 
Carroll ones. There were some lighter talks as well as enter- 
taining presentations more loosely linked to Carroll. We even 
allowed ourselves to have some ftin and watch cartoons (blas- 
phemy!). For the children (mostly) a "pod play" was per- 
formed that included audience participation. The Maxine 
Schaefer Memorial reading also entertained the largest audi- 
ence to date (7 1 children). 1 ' m sure Maxine would have marked 
the day with a white stone and 1 look at these readings as one 
of the Society's great accomplishments. 

In an earlier column of mine 1 stated that one of my 
main goals as president was to increase the number of young 
members in the society. 1 think we have taken steps in this 
direction, partially due to: our presence on the World Wide 
Web; the interest raised by Morton Cohen's biography of 
Carroll; and the upcoming Centenary. Of course, simply rais- 
ing the numbers was not my intent. I also want to increase 
the number of active younger members, and there are steps 
we must take to do this. Age is relative, so let me state that 
when 1 talk about younger members I am addressing college- 
age students and recent graduates (not that you need a de- 
gree to be a member). 

One of our newer members. Fernando Soto, a gradu- 
ate philosophy student from Canada, was given the oppor- 
tunity to make a presentation at one of the concurrent ses- 
sions of the St. John's / St. Benedict's conference. His basic 
thesis is that there is more meaning in Carroll's nonsense 
than has been discovered to date and that with the help of a 
Victorian vintage set of dictionaries, these hidden meanings 
can be discovered. 1 can hear the collective groan. For some 
reason, the general membership finds this idea to be dis- 
tasteful if not downright threatening. Certainly most of us 
would not want to sit down surrounded by dialect, medical, 
and foreign language dictionaries to read our favorite 
children's book. Our instinct tells us that this would abso- 
lutely ruin the experience and I couldn't agree more. Mr. Soto 
is not asking us to do this. He is willing to do it for us and 
present his findings. What 1 think we should be willing to do 
is listen to his arguments, analyze them fairly (not emotion- 
ally), arrive at our own conclusions and discuss them in an 
open forum. If we reject them outright without due consider- 
ation, we would effectively be closing the doors on anyone 



who didn't agree with our current beliefs. It would be a pretty 
dull society (and a small one too) if we all had to agree on 
everything. Again, I'm not saying we have to agree with 
Femando's or anyone else's opinion. I'm just saying that, if 
they have gone to a reasonable amount of effort to verify a 
hypothesis, we ought to go to some effort to consider it and 
discuss the pros and cons. Carrying on this debate is one of 
the main reasons for our existence. 

I will present two instances of wordplay that 
Fernando touched upon. The first was a pun Carroll used in 
a meeting with Lottie Rix (discussed in August's meeting 
report on page 4). The point I want to make is that this is a 
clear case of Carroll's use of a pun. We may not all under- 
stand the nature of the pun as we do not all know Greek (or 
there may be an alternative explanation), but I think we can 
all agree that a pun was intended. This is obvious and non- 
threatening nonsense that makes sense. Now Fernando asks 
us to consider an instance in Looking-Glass that he says is 
also a play on words. 

'"I only wanted to see what the garden was like, 

your Majesty — ' 

That's right,' said the Queen, patting her on the 
head, which Ahce didn't like at all: 'though, when 
you say "garden" — I've seen gardens, compared 
with which this would be a wilderness.' 

Ahce didn't dare to argue the poiint, but went on: 
' — £uid I thought I'd try and find my way to the top 
ofthathill— ' 

'When you say "hiU,"' the Queen interrupted, '/ 
could show you hills, in comparison with which 
you'd call that a valley.' 

'No, I shouldn't,' said Ahce, surprised into contra- 
dicting her at last: 'a hill ca'n't be a valley, you 
know. That would be nonsense — ' 

The Red Queen shook her head. 'You may call it 
"nonsense " if you like,' she said, 'but I've heard 
nonsense, compared with which that would be as 
sensible as a dictionary!'" 

Now we all look at this as the Queen's use of hyper- 
bole in making comparisons. She is being the kind of person 
that can always go you one better in any argument. You 
know, the type of person that says. "If you think that s good 
— well, listen to this." On this level of interpretation, this 
section works very well. It is funny, clever, and an insight 
into human nature. Do we need more than this? It is Carroll at 
his best. Fernando invites us to ask, "What if there is more?" 
He claims that not only is there more, but Carroll has given us 
the key when he writes "... that would be as sensible as a 
dictionary!" What if we could find a dictionary where the 
definition of hill was the same as the definition for valley? 
Here is what he found. 

HILL - to cover up or over, to wrap, to cover with clothes . . . 

(used in Cheshire and Oxford. . . ) from the English Dialect 

Dictionary 



HILL - to cover (applied to clothes and other things such 
as dirt) from The Folk Speech of South Cheshire. 

VALLEY - a vale, dale . . . formed like a vale ... see VALE 

VALE - a valley., perhaps allied to Greek iXoc^ "helos": 
wet. low ground named from its being surrounded by hills, 
and easily covered with water. Skeat {An Etymological 
Dictionary of the English Language) traces this to the 
Sanskrit val, to cover or surround, which became the Latin 
vallis. a vale. 

Mr. Soto's position is that both of these words are 
defined as "to cover". If this is so, then here is a dictionary 
that would indeed allow you to call a hill a valley. I see you 
are still skeptical. That's fine, so long as you're skeptical 
because you don't agree that the definitions of hill and val- 
ley as presented are equivalent or so equally importantly 
that Dodgson would have considered them to be defined the 
same. Dodgson s knowledge of language was extensive and 
was used as a source of humor and hidden meanings. 

I contend that it would be wrong to dismiss this 
interpretation on the basis that a double meaning to every bit 
of nonsense in the Alice books would subtract from their 
quality. I say this because I believe there is a tendency to 
think this. On the other hand, I believe that the nonsense is 
of the highest quality without having any meaning whatso- 
ever I am satisfied with it and do not expect more, but I try 
not to reject the possibility of more. Whether Fernando Soto 
is right or wrong, he causes us to look at the texts once again 
from a different point of view and what can be wrong about 
that? I hope that this brief discussion of the ideas presented 
will result in a dialog via letters to the editor I encourage you 
to add to the debate. 

Finally, I want to remind you that our next Cente- 
nary meeting will be in New York on March 28, 1998. In con- 
junction with this meeting we are also planning to spend a 
day touring New York Alice sights on Friday the 27th, visit- 
ing the Rosenbach Library Museum in Philadelphia on the 
29th and viewing the Carroll exhibit at Princeton on the 30th. 
The Maxine Schaefer Memorial reading for children will be 
held at the Children's Museum on Sunday morning and 
Morton Cohen will be delivering a lecture at the Morgan 
Library on Sunday afternoon with a recepUon for LCSNA 
members to follow. On Saturday night we will have a formal 
dinner honoring Morton Cohen for his many contributions 
to Lewis Carroll scholarship and to the LCSNA. This black- 
tie affair will be held at the Cornell Club and will be a unique 
opportunity to enjoy Carrollian entertainment and acknowl- 
edge the achievements of a friend. 

Make plans now to join us at these centenary cel- 
ebrations. It will be one hundred years until you get another 
chance like this. 



The CenTenniel Year 

Many events are being plaimed for next year, ine 
centenary of Dodgson s death. Some have already begun. A 
fine list of them is on our home page; follow the link to Cen- 
tenary 1998, or go directly to hnp://www.lewiscarroll.org/ 
cent.html. Events in the UK and elsewhere are listed there, 
but as we are the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, just 
"local" events are listed here: 

Nov. 1997 - April, 1998. New York City. Elmer Bobst Library, 
NYU. Exhibition of items from the Alfred Berol collection. 

Jan. 25 - April 12. Princeton, New Jersey. Milberg Gallery in 
the Firestone Library, Princeton University. E.xhibition of items 
from the Morris Parrish collection. 

March 28 -29. LCSNA Spring meeting. Open to the public. 
Visits to Princeton and the Rosenbach Library. 

March 28 - 2:00 pm: meeUng at the Bobst Library, NYU. 
Nina Demurova, Russian translator, will deliver the first Stan 
Marx Memorial Lecture. Also speaking will be Genevieve 
Smith and Donald Rackin. 

March 28 - 7:00 pm: LCSNA will host a black tie dinner 
honoring the extensive contributions of Morton Cohen to 
Carroll studies and the LCSNA. This gala affair will be held 
at the Cornell Club. 

March 29 - A Maxine Schaefer Memorial program for chil- 
dren with activities and a special guest speaker (Christina 
Bjork - Joel can't keep a secret). Morton Cohen will deliver 
a lecture at the Pierpoint Morgan Library at 2:30 pm. 

April 1 - May 29. New York City. Grolier Club. An exhibition 
of about 75 items from the collection of Jon Lindseth. 

May 20 - August 30. New York City. Pierpont Morgan Li- 
brary. Exhibition of items from the Arthur Houghton collec- 
tion. 

July 15-20. Wheaton, IL. "Mylhcon XXIX" four day confer- 
ence on C. S. Lewis and Lewis (Carroll. Details on page 14. 

August 2-8. University of California at Santa Cruz Dickens 
Project. Week-long conference features the Alice books. 
Details on i^. 14. 

Nov. 7 - 8. Fall meeting of the LCSNA. Meetings at UCLA 
and the Huntington Library. 

Nov - Jan. Austin, Texas. Harry Ransom Humanities Research 
Center Exhibition of items from the Helmut Gemsheim, War- 
ren Weaver, and Byron Sewell collections. 

Dec 1, 1998-early 1999. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
Rosenbach Library. Exhibition of items from the Rosenbach 
collection. 



Carroll's Cryptography 

For most of us, our knowledge of Carroll's attention 
to cryptography is confined to a printing of "The Alphabet 
Cipher" in his Collected Works. However, his interest in it 
was deeper, and his contributions to it more significant, than 
is generally realized. Fortunately for us, a series of articles in 
Cryptologia magazine by Drs. Francine Abeles and Stanley 
Lipson, both of Kean University, fiilly explores this hitherto 
obscure area of his researches. 

My involvement with all this began innocently 
enough, with this innocuous query received via eMail from 
Carla Maclean, a student at the Liverpool Institute for Per- 
forming Arts. 

"I've been reading /?e<i57i//? by Alan Gamer, unfortunately 
the last two pages are in Lewis Carroll's code. Any help 
you could give me in cracking the code would be much 
appreciated, because then I can finish the book!" 

Red Shift is a fantasy/sci-fi "young adult" novel 
written almost entirely in a dialogue between two "star- 
crossed lovers", shifting in time from Roman Britain to 
the present. It was published in the U.K. by FontanaLions 
(Collins) in 1973. The last three pages area "handwrit- 
ten" note beginning "p xcde waj. fm kcc cyz gbhp..." and, 
although the "Lewis Carroll code" was mentioned ear- 
lier, there was no direct citing of the "key-word" (or 
phrase) which could translate it. 

I did what came naturally, of course, which was a 
Net search, and came up with a site (http://www.ant.co.uk/ 
-peter/homilies/alta. htm) which, appropriately, dealt with the 
efficiency of various search engines, but mentioned /?e<i577///'. 
It was written by Peter Hartley, and I asked him for help. He 
wrote: 

"Yes, I did crack the code. The clue was that sequence of 
letters (waj, if I remember) which was repeated several times 
throughout the message, at nine-letter intervals. This is a 
dead giveaway that the keyword is nine letters long. 

The other clue was the first sentence: a one-letter word, 
then four letters, then three ... it seemed a fair chance that it 
says "I love you". 

With this you can work out that the keyword is 'Tom's a- 
cold', the King Lear quote that Tom [the protagonist] was 
so fond of" [ActIIISc.4, IV Sc. 1] 

So, the immediate mystery was solved, but my curi- 
osity was piqued. More Net searches resulted in my finding 
the Cryptologia articles (that they were co-authored by 
Fran Abeles was no surprise) and the following is a conden- 
sation of them. 

The field of cryptology goes back into the begin- 
nings of history, and has been used extensively in military 
operations as far back as the fifth century BC in Sparta, when 
letter-substitutions (the first having been credited to Julius 
Caesar), code-books, and so on. for command and reconnais- 
sance messages were required. Coeval with that was. of 
course, the science of code-breaking, which entailed more 
cleverness on the part of the code-makers which entailed 



more ingenuity . . . etc. 

With the advent of the electric telegraph in the 1840s, 
messages became more vulnerable to interception and code- 
breaking, and a more effective, more secure coding schema 
was needed. 

The simply alphabetic cipher, or system of letter- 
substitution, is very easy to "break" — most of today's Sun- 
day newspapers carry a "Cryptogram" — by a bit of ingenu- 
ity using letter frequency and patterns. A polyalphabetic 
cipher is one in which different cipher letters can serve to 
represent the same text letter. Dodgson's "Alphabet Cipher ', 
published in 1868. is such a code. The coder takes a "key- 
word" (or phrase), known to both parties, and writes it re- 
peatedly over the message he wishes to encrypt. Here is his 
example (see the matrix at right) using the key-word vigi- 
lance: 

vigi lancevigilancevigilancevi 
meetmeontuesdayeveningatseven 
hmkbxebpxpmyllyrxiiqtoltfgzzv 

As Dodgson says, "The receiver of the message 
can. by the same process, retranslate it into English. N.B. If 
this table be lost, it can easily be written out from memory. . . ' 

He believed it to be "his own invention", but in fact 
it was a re-invention of a version of one invented by Blaise 
de Vigenere in 1585, and known by his name. Although this 
was Dodgson's most well-known work in this subject, he 
actually invented (or re-invented) three others. 

His diary entry for 23 February, 1 858 reads "Invented 
a system of cipher, which I think looks promising, as it may 
be carried entirely in the head." He proceeded to elaborate a 
system involving a key-word, with vowels in the key repre- 
senting message letters, and consonants inserted randomly. 
Modem analysis revealed it to be a subset of the Vigenere 
cipher, restricting the substitution alphabets to the ones as- 
sociated with the five vowels. Dodgson abandoned this "Key- 
Vowel" cipher within three days, believing the next one he 
thought of to be "far better". But there was much to consider 
in the "Key- Vowel" method: the introduction of nulls (ran- 
dom letters), the fact that the system could be "carried en- 
tirely in the head", the mathematical structure underlying the 
system, and the algorithmic approach. 

Three days after the "Key- Vowel", on 26 February 
1858. he recorded "Invented another cypher far better than 
the last ..." This one, the "Matrix Cipher" involved writing 
the alphabet in the form of a matrix (in the Latin alphabet. I 
and J, U and V are interchangeable) 
A F L Q W 
B G M R X 
C H N S Y 
D I T Z 
E K P V * 

As before, there is a keyword, but this time you 
count the number of columns and rows one has to travel to 
get the text letter, and so the encoded message will read in 
numbers {e.g. 21.23.04.24). The coding is modular (if you go 



beyond the last column or line, you start counting again at 
the first). 

Once more, there had been a precursor. Dodgson's 
cipher was a variant, using nonstandard arithmetic, of a sys- 
tem invented by Sir Francis Beaufort just the year before, 
which in itself was the inverse of the Vigenere. It was deemed 
too complicated for use by the Foreign office — Dodgson's 
later ciphers were simple enough to be used in his letters to 
his child-friends The "Matrix" does remain the first cipher 
system based on mathematical principles, and one which in- 
corporates the encipherment of instructions about the deci- 
pherment (the embeUishments) within the cipher text itself. 
The notion of treating instructions as data was also being 
utilized by Dodgson's acquaintance Charles Babbage in his 
design of the calculating machine, and it is this principle 
which is the basis of Von Neumann's "stored program" con- 
cept which underlies today's vast data processing industry. 

Ten years later, around the time of the "Alphabet" 
cipher (there is no diary entry), he came up with the 'Tele- 
graph" cipher on April 22, 1 868. It was also published anony- 
mously (the 1 858 ciphers were never published). This time, 
two sliding alphabets are used. Later analysis again showed 
it to be equivalent to the Vigenere tableau. 

Although Dodgson's ingenuity in inventing these 
codes produced no truly original contribution to the field, 
once again we are awed by the creativity and dexterity of his 
mind in an area in which he was no more than a dilettante. 

Drs. Lipson and Abeles have written programs in 
Pascal (MATRIX and CIPHERPL AY) to explore these ar- 
eas. They can be contacted at the Department of Mathemat- 
ics, Kean University of New Jersey, Morris Ave., Union NJ 
07083. 



THE ALPHABET-CIPHER 

ABCDEFGHI J K LMNOPQR STUVWX 



Y Z 



A 


a 
b 
c 
d 

e 


b 

c 
d 
e 
f 


c 
d 
e 
f 
g 


d 
e 
f 
g 
h 


e 


f 


g 
h 
i 
j 

7 


h 
i 
j 
k 
I 


i 

i 

7 

1 

m 


j 


k 


1 
m 

D 

o 

p 


m 
n 
o 
P 

q 


D 
O 
P 

q 

r 


o 
P 


P 

q 


q 

r 
1 
t 
u 


r 


1 


t 


u 


V 


z 

y 

z 
a 


X 

y 

z 
a 
b 


y 

z 
a 

7 

c 


- 


\ 


B 


f 


g 


k 


1 


1 

t 
u 

V 


I 

u 

V 

w 


u 


V 


w 

z 

y 

z 


B 


C 


g 


h 


1 


m 


q 

r 


r 

9 


V 


w 


C 


D 


h 


j 

i 


m 
n 


n 
o 


w 




D 


E 


B 


t 


X 




E 


F 


g 
h 

J 


g 1 h 

f 


M' 


k|l 


m 
n 
o 
P 

q 


n 
o 
P 

q 

r 


o 
P 


P 

q 


q 

r 
• 
t 
u 


r 
t 

t 
u 


t 
t 
u 

V 

w 


t 


u 


V 

w 

z 

y 

z 


z 

y 

z 
a 


z 

y 

z 


y 

z 


- 


a 
b 
c 
d 

e 


c 
d 

e 
7 


c 

7 

e 

7 
g 


d 

e 

7 
g 
h 


- 


F 


G 


h 
i 
J 
k 


i 
j 

k 

1 


j 

k 

T 

m 


k 


1 


— 

n 
o 

P 


U V 


G 


H 


1 
m 


m 
n 


q 

r 


r 
s 


V 


w 


a 


- 


H 


I 


w 


X 


a 
b 


b 

c 


I 


J 


n 


o 


s 


t 


X 


y 


J 


K 


k 
I 

m 
n 
o 


l" 
m 
n 



P 


m 
n 
o 
P 

q 


n 



P 

q 

r 


o 


P 


q 

r 
t 
t 
u 


r 
s 

t 
u 

V 


t 
t 
u 

V 

w 


t 


u 


V 

w 

z 

y 

z 


w 

z 

y 

z 
a 


X 

y 

z 
a 
b 


y 


z 


a 
b 

c 
d 

e 


b 

c 
d 

e 
f 


c 

7 

e 

7 
g 


d 




f 
g 
b 
i 
i 


g 
h 
i 
j 

7 


h 
i 
j 
k 
1 


i 
j 

7 

1 

m 


m 
n 


K. 


L 


P 


q 


u 


V 

w 


z 


a 


e 




L 


M 


q 

r 


r 
s 


a 


b 


f 




M 


N 


w 


X 


b 


c 


g 




N 





t 


t 




y 


c 


d 


h 







P 


P 

q 

r 
t 


q 

r 
t 

t 
u 


r 
• 

t 
u 

V 


I 
t 
u 

V 

w 


I 
u 


u 

V 


V 

w 

z 

y 

z 


w 

z 

y 

z 
a 


z 

y 

z 
a 
b 




z 


a 
b 

c 

7 

e 


b 

c 

7 

e 

7 


c 
d 

e 

7 
g 


d 


e 


f 
g 

7 

i 

i 


g 
h 
i 
j 
k 


h 
i 
j 
k 
1 


i 
j 


- 


k 

7 

m 
n 
o 


1 

m 
n 
o 
P 


m 

D 
O 
P 

q 


n 



P 

q 

r 


o 
P 

q 

r 

8 


P 


Q 




a 


e 


f 


Q 


R 


V 


w 




b 
c 


f 


g 


k 




R 


S 


w 


X 


g 


h 


1 


m 


S 


1 


z 


y 




d 


h 


i 


m 


n 


r 


V 


u 

V 

w 

X 

y 

z 


V 

w 

z 

y 

z 
a 


w 

z 

y 

z 
a 
b 


z 

y 

z 
a 
b 

c 


y 


z 


a 
b 

c 

7 

e 
7 


b 

c 

7 

e 

7 
g 


c 
d 

e 

7 
g 

h 




e 


I 

g 

7 

i 
j 

7 


g 

7 

i 
j 

7 

1 


h 

i 

7 

7 

m 


i 


j 


k 
•1 
m 
n 
o 
P 


1 

m 
n 
o 
P 

q 


m 
n 
o 
P 

q 

r 


D 





P 

q 

r 

8 

t 
U 


q 

r 


r 
t 


I 
t 
u 

V 

w 


t 
u 

V 

w 

z 


u 


V 


z 


a 




f 


j 


k 


O 
P 


P 

q 


V 


w 


a 


b 




g 


k 


1 


s 
t 
u 

V 


t 
u 

V 

w 


w 


X 


b 


c 


g 

h 
i 


h 
i 


1 

m 


m 
n 


q 


r 


X 


Y 


c 


d 


r 


8 


Y 


2 


d 


e 


n 


o 


t 


t 


z 


y 


Z 



ABC DEFGH I JKLMNOPQ RSTUVWXYZ 



The beginning of the "message" from Red Shijl. 



"Some Victorian Periodic Polyalphabetic Ciphers", Volume XTV 
No.2, April 1990, pp. 128-134 

"The Matrix Cipher of C.L. Dodgson", Volume XTV No.l, Janu- 
aiy 1990, pp. 28-36 

"The Key- Vowel Cipher of Charles L. Dodgson", Volume XV 
No.l, Januaiy 1991, pp. 18-24 

These issues may be ordered from UMI (800.521.0600; http:// 
www.umi.com/infostore) or Cryptologia, Department of Math- 
ematical Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point, 
NY 10096-9902. $12 apiece, http://www.dean.usma.edu/math/ 
resource/pubs/cryptolo/index.htm 

2 

The precise degree of variance is discussed in the first article, 
above. 

The names "Key Vowel" and "Matrix" are the authors', not 
Dodgson ' s. 



p xcDE wo:r. fm kcc 

C^Z. qBHP HPIQ KXR 

TQqs cyi>T. ruxD uc. 
q*y LoPFWvq zg^ul/c^ 

KNA AACCS^I, ytOOCSC U 
2.KVI WS'LT NT «^Ofil^ 

XTS^OC^r <S^H WA30 IMU, 

wyOiSP. P'y qwRPK. yi^i 

OZ-M«P, |s;d"fi^ PF*Q "^OtA 

x-pG^L-. tK^T.T 'e»c Mr 
"z^i^si^^ Hc-xt 9,'*ys. C^F 

W^-J AVZ'H- KOKO^^ x'lS 

SC "^o z.Mqa^opPi-rcw. 

oo i<<OR.y -ro<xir^ \a,u-(M 
i<a. wv MW ^Pz-L-, 



Report from the Great White North 

by Dayna McCausland 

The second meeting of the LCSC took place on Sun- 
day, Oct. 26 at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto. There 
were 1 1 members present. 

Chris Pezzarello presented a paper called "Framing 
the Dream Vision in the Alice Books". He showed how 
Carroll worked within — and deviated from — traditional 
dream vision stories in his Alice books, using Chaucer as a 
comparison. A dream vision story typically has a framing 
device, in the case of the Alice books, the "awake" or reality 
segments. The dream occupies the middle. Chris examined 
the frames and Carroll's suspension of time in both the books. 

Carroll departed from dream vision tradition by us- 
ing himself as the "narrator" instead of the dreamer and also 
having no lessons learned by Alice, except possibly self- 
reliance (as she was already the most mature person in Won- 
derland, as Adam Gopnik has noted). 

In both books the dreams end in a chaotic scene, 
but in Looking-Glass Alice remains confused after waking. 
Was it her dream or the Red King's? In Wonderland the dream 
is continued with the sister's daydream, which is a miniature 
version of a Alice's dream vision. Chris feels that one views 
the dream sequences differently, and in a more enriched way, 
because of the perspective that the frames provide. 

Our second speaker, David Dunn, spoke about 
Dodgson's Russian tour in the summer of 1 867. Entitled 'Trom 
Russia with Alice", the talk gave us Dodgson's impressions 
of the country, including a train trip and haggling in Russian 
with a cab driver. 

The journey raises many questions. Why did 
Dodgson and his traveling companion. Dr. Liddon, return 
home separately? Why were they traveling together in the 
first place? They seem to be the original "odd couple"'. It 
was the author's only trip outside of England. Why? Why 
did he choose Russia? It seems to have been a church busi- 
ness trip for Liddon. The trip is intriguing as it must have 
been influential for Dodgson but little is written about it. 
David speculated that it was possible that a character (the 
Cheshire Cat) had its original in a Russian fairy tale. 

The present author then put forth "Martha Stewart 
in Wonderland Decorating your Christmas Tree with a Won- 
derland Theme". With a small tree as a prop she displayed 
some of the commercially available Alice ornaments and 
showed how common and uncommon household articles 
could be used for decorations. Starting with the red heart 
garland you bought on sale after Valentine's Day you can 
deck your tree with anything mentioned in Xhe Alice books 
such as golden keys, hand lettered (or computer-generated) 
"Drink Me" labels, thimbles, chess men, playing cards, red 
and white silk roses, paint brushes, pocket watches made 
from modeling clay, even cut-outs from Alice cards or illus- 
trations. Let your imagination go mad (and that's a good 
thing). 



Quizzical 

I. The Sunday Washington Post has a book review 
section and often a quiz which relates to the main 
article. On August 3rd, the article was on "Zodiac 
in Wonderland" (reviewed here in "From OurFar- 
Flung Correspondents", p. 22). Here's "Book Bag 
U932": 

Curiouser and curiouser! Answer the following: 

1. What writer, in later years a highly regarded 

American novelist, translated Lewis Carroll's 
books into Russian? 

2. What noted mathematician compiled a book 

about "Alice in many languages"? 

3. Name the author and title of a semi-fantastic 

mystery in which the hero meets a member of 
the secret society known as the Vorpal Blades. 

4. Identify the famous literary critic wiio, in a study 

of the pastoral impulse, suggested that Alice 
in Wonderland could be read as a Freudian 
text, replete with sexual imagery. 

5 . What living American composer has written an 

Alice opera? 

6. Name the Pulitizer-Prize winning novelist wiiose 

short story, "Alice Falling", relates Alice's 
thoughts and observations as she tumbles 
down the rabbit-hole. 

II. New York Magazine, October 6, 1 997, had a con- 
test in which the readers were asked "to supply a 
limerick to conclude with the mangled version of a 
famous name." A runner-up prize went to Karen 
Bracey whose entry went: 

Hunger forced Alice to look 

At the Wonderland recipe book 

For edible fare. 

White Rabbit? March Hare? 

Oh, dear, what would Alice dare cook? 

Knight Letter readers are invited to submit others. 
Here's a starter: 

A mixed-up old bird once gave birth 

To the oddest pair of chicklets on Earth. 

Then one of them left 

The other bereft: 

For what is a robin sans duck worth? 

III. Carroll, who was a great fan of acrostics, some- 
times referred to words and groups of words with 
only their initial letters. There are six examples in 
the Alice books. Can you name them? 

Answers on p. 15 



10 



O^TIf ^<©(©P^ Sc 'Hlp^^Oi^ 



Oz, Anyone? 

Deborah Caputo is interested in forming a Lewis 
Carroll Society in Australia. She hasjust published her first 
newsletter The Lobster 's Voice. Contact her at 39 Sackville 
St., Bexley, NSW 2207, Australia. 

The Twinkling of the Tea 

Taking Tea With Alice by Dawn H. Gottlieb and Diane Sedo 
Warner Treasures. 0-446-9 II73-9. $17 

Reviewed by Stephanie Lovett Stofifel 

This is a pretty little book, such as one might give 
as a gift, proposing six theme tea parties for children, with 
recipes and games. Only half of the six parties are Alice- 
related, and neither the recipes nor the games are especially 
original: the traditional English finger sandwiches are 'The 
White Rabbit's Tea Sandwiches" because the some of the 
fillings are vegetables, which as we all know are the favorite 
foods of rabbits. There's no rationale at all for the "Lemon- 
Raspberry Looking-Glass Cake", though it sounds awftilly 
good. One plays Tin the Tail on the Cheshire Cat" and "Mu- 
sical Toadstools", and places plastic pink flamingoes near 
the croquet wickets. A parent who followed all the direc- 
tions, perhaps combining the best elements from the three 
parties, and who had all the accessories used by the photo 
stylist, might indeed manage to stage a charming scene for 
children neither too young nor too old to appreciate an Alice 
tea party. Overall, this book does not quite deliver on its 
promise, relying mainly on the idea of Victorian charm. I could 
have thought up these parties, and for $16.95. 1 would have 
expected something a little more wonderful. 

1 have a number of books of this type to compare it 
with, for despite the theory that my collection of books on 
tea consists primarily of serious books on the beverage it- 
self, lovely gift books on entertaining with tea will creep in. 1 
declare, it's too bad! The most significant thing for Carroll 
collectors about Taking Tea With Alice (besides the intro- 
duction by Edward Wakeling and Anne Clark Amor) is that it 
is a good example of the very interesting (to me, anyway) 
intersection of Alice and tea. Many of my books on tea at 
least mention the most famous tea-party in literature, and the 
more popular productions uniformly quote Samuel Johnson, 
the first sentence of The Portrait of a Lady, and Lewis Carroll. 
To many people less obsessed with these two topics, the 
mention of tea brings to mind the Mad Tea Party, and the 
mention of Alice conjures up that memorable scene, though 
too often connected with "A Very Merry Un-Birthday To 
You!" So. the book at hand may been seen at least as a salute 
to the entwining of tea and Alice in Western culture. 




[Also of interest would he that 

Mary Jean St. Clair (Alice s only 

grandchild) contributed Alice's 

recipe for Orange Marmalade. The non-Alice-related tea 

parties, according to the promotional material, would then 

be the "Victorian teas that the real life Alice would have 

attended. "] 

Snarkology 

The Snark Decoded by Cathy Bowem, Angerona Press, 1 995 

Reviewed by Fernando J. Soto 

The latest courageous sailor to join the small num- 
ber of careful readers and "decoders" of Lewis Carroll's mas- 
terpiece The Hunting of the Snark, is Cathy Bowern in her 
interesting book The Snark Decoded. After reading the book, 
whose scope spans with varying degrees of depth and suc- 
cess several different traditions (Egyptian, Sumerian. Tibetan, 
Greek, etc. ) and disciplines (Mathematics, History, Languages. 
etc.), I was left quite "snarked" by the whole voyage. 

While glimpses of Bowern's CarroUian whimsy, 
humour, and "spirit" are peppered throughout the text, the 
main scholarly part (i.e. the decoding) falls quite short of the 
mark from the very begirming of the book. By emphasizing 
some extremely shaky anagrams (among which is found "For 
the answer uos sa majyc ooube" derived from the Snark's 
famous last line "For the Snark was a Boojum you see"), the 
author takes much away from her subsequent arguments. As 
Bowern must tell the reader that her own anagramatic formu- 
lation, meant to describe the nature of the poem, must be 
deciphered as "For the answer was a magic cube", the reader 
wishing to give her the benefit of an open mind is given a 
taste of what is to follow — a set of counter-inmitive, dispar- 
ate and at times chaotic arguments. 

Bowern believes that the Magic Cube — an odd 
and interesting mathematical contraption — plays a central 
role within the "agony", however it is not clear from the book 
how or why she should think thus. Her "proof for the rel- 
evance of the Magic Cube relies on convincing the reader 
that the number 42 is common and important to both the 
poem and the Cube. If this connection was solid then the 
reader would probably not wonder why the "magical" as- 
pects of the cube at times eclipse the mathematical. This 
inconsistency is easily seen when Bowern states "In reality, 
of course, a magic cube (lower case letters refer to the literal 
cube) is composed of 27 smaller cubes; but in making 42 
'represent' 27, Carroll is invoking its magical aspect, the fact 
that 37 of its columns add up to 42". 



11 



The other important "decoding" that is offered to 
the reader is that the Baker is some type of parody of the male 
consort Osiris of the Egyptian goddess Isis. While this is 
very interesting, Bowem's reading is much too selective, 
"stretched", and incomplete to be convincing. In order to 
join the Baker to Osiris the reader is expected to agree with 
Bowem's statement that: "The pronunciation of 'baker' 
('baka') is a piece of wordplay — the key to the Baker's 
central importance to the poem. The name resides in the an- 
nals of ancient Egyptian history " This information on 'baka' 
is stated to have conie from the Book of the Dead first pub- 
lished (in Enghsh?), according to Bowem's bibliography, in 
1895 — some 19 years after the Snark\ While it is possible 
that Carroll may have had access to another source (say R. 
Lepsius' Das Todtenbuch of 1842), the case is never made to 
prove this accessibility. Thus, by concentrating on only two 
of the many hasty and perhaps anachronistic arguments 
found within the book, a reader may find him/herself a bit sea 
sick on this particular voyage, to say nothing of all the sway- 
ing motion of the many shifting or unsupported claims in the 
book. Some of these {e.g. that the Bellman "could well be a 
portrait of Henry Liddell" or a Father time figure; that the 
Boots could represent Apis the Bull "based" on the Greek 
for 'ox', PoOq "boos"; that by "hail" and "fire" Carroll surely 
meant 'hell-fire; that the Beaver may be Alice Liddell; that 
the Maker of Bonnets and Hoods must be the Mad Hatter; 
etc.). 

Stylistically the book also "feels" mshed and soon 
becomes extremely hard to follow while the explanations be- 
come weaker, shorter, and fewer in number as it progresses. 
Another shortcoming of the book is that nearly half of the 
text is devoted to a somewhat more successfijl "decoding" 
of Fits which Bowern, not C^roll, wrote! This may have been 
an 'acceptable" methodology had the decoding for Carroll's 
The Hunting of the Snark been much stronger; however, as 
the first leg of the task was lame, the latter, more wooden leg 
{i.e. decoding one's own work) fails to provide the locomo- 
tion needed if the main decoding thesis is to go forward. 
Also, partly due to the book's style, this reader is left with 
the question: should a decoding of a text clarify or obscure, 
help guide or trip the readers up? 

To sum up with my fingers and thumbs, this book, 
while being interesfing, falls quite short of what it claims to 
be — a decoding of Carroll's Snark. The writer appears, at 
some level, to intuit this, as even as late as page 88, the 
second last page of the "decoding" of Carroll's poem, she 
still pushes her weak anagram and her unlikely interpreta- 
tions: 

The last line of Carroll's poem contains of course, 
the anagram "For the answer uos sa majyk ooube" (For the 
answer was a magic cube), and is, I believe, Carroll's way of 
conveying the message "the baker underwent a magical 
death" / "the Baker entered the immortal afterhfe". 

So, even if the reader agrees with this last sentiment 
— the Baker's immortality, mythological, literary or other- 
wise — one would, 1 believe, be hard pressed to agree with 
Bowerns explanations outlining the cause for his deifica- 



tion. UUimately there are just too many Carrollian knots left 
unUed for the theory to sail in the direction Bowern wishes to 
go: the fact that too many of her stories don't fit Carroll's Fits 
serves to fog up the reader's vision; there are too many waves 
of imagination and not enough solid argumentation based 
on chronologically sound sources to anchor the new 'de- 
coding"; and finally, there is too much reliance on the shift- 
ing nature of her anagramatic ballast — particularly the types 
of anagram that needs not only several interpretations but 
two or three levels of decoding before yielding their dimin- 
ishing, unstable returns. Nevertheless, after historically sur- 
veying past "decodings" of the Snark, this work does not 
appear much worse than the most celebrated, and not much 
better than those held in contempt. 

[See "Far-Flung" p. 21 for more details] 




Lingering onward dreamily. . . 

From its opening montage of drawings and photo- 
graphs, the reader of Stephanie Lovett Stoffel's marvelously 
imagined Lewis Carroll in Wonderland is inexorably drawn 
into the "Life and Times of Alice and Her Creator", as the 
subtitle proclaims. Initially somewhat skeptical ("not another 
Carroll biography!"), I was immediately and deliciously se- 
duced by its panoply of colorful images and smooth, accu- 
rate and. dare 1 say, loving prose. 

This work was conceived of as part of the 
"Decouvertes" ("Discoveries") series from Editions Gallimard 
Jeunesse, and co-published by Harry N. Abrams in the U.S. 
(and, as Lewis Carroll and Alice, in the U.K. by Thames and 
Hudson under the "New Horizons" imprint — both French 
and Japanese editions are also in the works). 'Discoveries" 
consist of about 300 titles in French and 50 in English which 
are of uniform appearance and intended to cover a topic for 
the benefit of the educated general reader who wants to fur- 
ther his interest in a subject {e.g. The Story of Jazz: Bop and 
Beyond; Writing: The Story of Alphabets and Scripts, etc.). 

The author covers not only the requisite subject 
matter, but puts all aspects of the tale in their proper histori- 
cal and cultural context. The superabundant and suitably 
captioned imagery — from the familiar, through the rarely 
seen in Carroll biographies {e.g. Sargent's Carnation, Lily, 
Lily, Rose; Kate Greenaway's rendering of Humpty Dumpty 
as a young lad) to the rarely seen, period {e.g. eariy drawings 
for Disney's AW in a completely different style; 
J.M.Cameron's photographic studies of nude children) — 
adds tremendous visual excitement. 



12 



There is no aspect of his life — from friendships, 
hobbies, and interests through religion, career, and books — 
which are left without proper context. A further treasure- 
trove awaits the reader at the back, where there are selec- 
tions and excerpts from Carroll's poetry, prose, letters, and 
essays. 

Scholar, collector, LCSNA board member Stephanie 
Stofifel has fashioned an elegant, eminently readable, and 
gorgeously browsable work. However, I cannot in good con- 
science recommend buying a single copy. Rather, I insist on 
your purchasing several. 'Tis the season, after all. 

ISBN 0-8 1 09-2838-8 $ 13 at your local bookstore, or 
fi-om the publisher at 1 00 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 1 00 1 , 
212.206.7715; http://www.abramsbooks.com. 



Take care of the sounds... 



Review by Hilda Bohem 



There is something un- 
satisfactory to me about dramati- 
zations of the Alice books. My 
personal fantasy is upset by col- 
liding with the actualization of 
somebody else's fantasy. Pictures 
(as in illustrations) don't bother me 
— in fact I rather enjoy comparing 
the concepts of different artists; 
but I find it unsettling when the 
characters develop a life of their 
own as they inevitably must in 
motion pictures or theater. So it was 
a pleasant surprise to attend a ra- 
dio production of Alice by the Cali- 
fornia Artists Repertory Theater 
(see KL 55), a company which 
brightens Los Angeles radio on 
Sunday nights. They are also to 
be found on an irregular schedule in a great variety of one- 
man shows and play readings at other venues around town; 
and one of these, on Saturday afternoon, June 14th, was the 
Hollywood Roosevelt Cinegrill. a civiUzed setting for a radio 
production, where CART performed yl/^K Peggy Webber, the 
Executive Director, adapted the script and is an old pro — I 
use the word only to describe her vast experience as actress, 
director, and producer because there is nothing about this 
sprightly lady that suggests age. She works with a suitable 
group of equally experienced professionals who seem to have 
great fun putting on these performances when they are not 
otherwise engaged. In 1994, a slightly different cast read and 
recorded the same adaptation. At that time. Alice was played 
by Samantha Eggar, this time by Anne Rogers. A cassette of 
the earlier performance is available before Christmas (hint: 
what a great present! Why not order both?) Ms. Webber's 
neat adaptation of necessity defers to radio's time constraints, 
but it still manages to include bits of TTLG and the charm of 
the production in enhanced by a piano score written and 
performed by David Pinto. 



EVE WAv6 INTRlGueD, BUT E:VE:^^■U^LLV DfODED 
TO novE- ON TO ANOTHER TREE". 
"Eyebeam" by Sam Hurt 



some of them even stout and creaky, standing before micro- 
phones, without costume or props, utterly convincing as the 
creatures of Wonderland. Anne Rogers has just the right 
kind of light voice for Alice (think Eliza Doolittle in Mv Fair 
Lady, one of her starring roles in London), William Windom 
makes a properly capricious Cheshire Cat, Marvin Kaplan is 
fine as a fiissy White Rabbit, and ... no, 1 can't enumerate all 
of the splendid cast; but 1 enjoyed them so much that when 
they repeated their performance tliat evening across the street 
at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, 1 trailed along af- 
ter them to hear them once more. 

Cassettes may be ordered from CART. 66 1 2 Whitley 
Terrace, Los Angeles CA 90068. US: $ 15. Europe: $ 1 8. else- 
where: $20 (postage included). 

Conference & Call for Papers I 

"The Lewis Carroll Phenomenon", a centenary con- 
ference at the University of Wales 
is being planned for April 1st - 5th. 
1998. "For the centenary of 
Dodgson's death a conference will 
be held in Cardiff on the place of 
Lewis Carroll in cultural and intel- 
lectual history. The use and de- 
velopment of Carrollian themes, 
ideas and techniques in science, 
mathematics and philosophy, as 
well as in literature and the other 
arts, will be discussed in an inter- 
disciplinary context. The provi- 
sional programme includes contri- 
butions from: Professor Gillian 
Beer, Professor Morton Cohen. 
Colin Ford. Professor Peter Hunt. 
Professor James Kincaid. Profes- 
sor Robin Lakoff. Professor Jean- 
Jacques Lecercle, and Alan Gamer There will be a number of 
sectional programmes, in response to the proposals for pa- 
pers which we receive. The following are already taking slwpe: 
Children's Literature, organised by Professor Peter Hunt; juid 
a Pragmatics workshop, with Professor Robin Lakoff Con- 
ference delegates will also have the opportunity to attend 
events in the Welsh 'Through the Looking-Glass, Centenary 
Festival' which runs March - August of 1998, celebrating 
Carroll through contemporary dance, literature, visual arts. 
film music and theatre." 

Other events include: the National Museum of 
Wales' exhibition of photographs by C.L.Dodgson; and a 
presentation of Derek Bourgeois's "Jabberwocky " with the 
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the BBC Chorus and a 
choir of schoolchildren drawn from all over Wales on Tues- 
day, April 7th. For information on papers, contact Dean 
Burnett, University of Wales. Cardiff, PO Box 920, Cardiff. 
CFl 3XP, UK; Burnettto.cardiff.ac.uk; carroll- 
conferencetocardiff.ac.uk; 44 1222 874000 phone, 44 1 222 
371921 fax; http://www.cf.ac.uk/uwcc/sccap/carfest/ 




It was a marvel to me to see these mature actors, carroll.html 



13 



Conference & Call for Papers II 

The C. S. Lewis Centenary Conference, together with 
the annual conference of the Mythopoeic Society "Mythcon 
XXIX", to be held July 15-20, 1998, in Wheaton, lUinois, will 
celebrate the lOOth anniversary of the birth of C. S. Lewis. 
Proposals are invited for papers on Lewis, his fellow Inkhngs, 
and "fantasy literature, in particular on Charles Lutwidge 
Dodgson ('Lewis Carroll'), who died the same year that C. S. 
Lewis and Owen Barfield were born." There will be a day of 
special programming (Thursday, July 16) on Lewis Carroll in 
recognition of his centenary as well." 

Abstracts (300 to 500 words) may be submitted no 
later than March 1 , 1 998, to the Papers Coordinator, Charles 
A. Hutlar, English Department, Hope College, Holland, MI 
49422-9000, fax 616.395.7134. Inquiries: 616.395.7617 or 
396.2260; huttartohope.cit. hope.edu. 

The Society's monthly journal A/>^////?r;>?r (Eleanor 
Farrell, ed -emfarrellfSJearthlink.net), which is dedicated to 
the above topics, will be pleased to consider papers pre- 
sented at the conference for publication. There is also a quar- 
terly journal. Mythlore. 

Because of the special nature of the Carroll pro- 
gramming, the conference will provide single-day member- 
ships (advance rate $35 for one day, until 3 1 December), and 
a partial room/board package will also be available. For gen- 
eral information, registration, or to be put on the maihng list 
for the Conference, write: C. S. Lewis Centenary Conference, 
c/o Lynn Maudlin. PO. Box 394, Altadena, CA 91003-0394; 
maudlinlynn(a)earthlink.net. http://home.earthlink.net/ 
~cmfarrcll/myUisoc/mylhcon29.html 

Conference III 

The Dickens Project at the gorgeous University of 
California, Santa Cruz, "a consortium of research groups on 
campuses across the country and overseas devoted to the 
study of Charles Dickens and nineteenth-century culture, 
holds a conference each summer that focuses on a Dickens 
novel, although in two recent years we have combined 
Dickens with another great Victorian novelist. This summer 
we intend to combine Dickens's Oliver Twist with Lewis 
Carroll's A lice books, and we anticipate attendance will ex- 
ceed the 250 participants who came last year. The week-long 
conference is a marvelous hybrid of scholars, graduate stu- 
dents. Elder Hostelers, and members of the general public. 
Besides the workshops and lectures, we have Victorian Teas, 
dancing, refreshments each evening, films, and special en- 
tertainment. This summer we will also have croquet, of 
course." August 2nd - 8th. $ 1 75 for the conference, $600 for 
on-campus housing and meals. Contact JoAnna Rottke at 
408.459.2 103 or the U.C.Dickens Project, 1 1 56 High Street, 
Santa Cruz CA 95064. dpj@cats.ucsc.edu; http:// 
humwww.ucsc.edu/dickens/index.html. 



The "Cover" Story 

'It began with blotting-paper," the Knight answered 
with a groan. 

7TLG, chapter VIE 

There has been a long and, in most cases, unfortunate asso- 
ciation between [he Alice books and the drug culture of the 
Sixties. From the Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit" to Tho- 
mas Fensch's>I//ce in Acidland and beyond, those persons 
blessed with little imagination have found it difficult to con- 
ceive of the genius of Lewis Carroll not being inflamed by 
pharmacological substances. When the Lewis Carroll Dis- 
cussion Board was active on the Web, it seemed to be the 
most common query, even though the answer, "What part of 
'NO' don't you understand?" was so blazingly clear. 

One of the more interesting artifacts of that era is the use of 
highly decorated printed sheets of "blotter paper acid", i.e. 
absorbent paper infused with the hallucinogen LSD and per- 
forated so that one can access the individual doses (900 in 
the present example gracing our front and back covers). A 
marvelous collection of some 200 of these sheets is housed 
in the "Institute of Illegal Images" run by Mark McCloud in 
San Francisco, who has been collecting them for twenty 
years. The drugs on the paper have long ago lost all their 
potency due to exposure, but the illustrations remain as curi- 
ous remnants of that historic culture. 




From TTLG, illustrated by Ralph Steadman 



14 



Poetry Corner 

As noted by Martin Gardner ("Leaves from the Deanery 
Garden ", p.J9 ), Canadian writer Vincent Starrett's poems, 
Brillig Sonnets, was published by The Dierkes Press in 1949. 
The LCS of Canada recently published this poem and his 
1919 short story "The Escape of Alice " as a keepsake for 
their first meeting fKL 55). However, everyone save Sandor 
Burstein has overlooked the fact that there were \\^o Alice 
poems in Brillig Sonnets. The second one, "State of the 
Union " was reprinted in the LCSC 's White Rabbit Tales U6. 

Alice, Where Art Thou? 

Quaint child, old-fashioned Alice, lend your dream: 

I would be done with modern story-spinners, 

Follow with you the laughter and the gleam: 

Weary am I, this night, of saints and sinners. 

We have been friends since Lewis and old Tenniel 

Housed you immortally in red and gold. 

Come! Your naivete is a spring perennial: 

Let me be young again before I'm old. 

You are a glass of youth: this night I choose 

Deep in your magic labyrinths to stray. 

Where rants the Red Queen in her splendid hues 

And the White Rabbit hurries on his way. 

Let us once more adventure, hand in hand: 

Give me belief again — in Wonderland! 

Starrett's Alice keepsake, 1-55246-032-0, may be ordered 
from The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box^^, P.O.Box 122, 
Sauk City Wl 53583; 608.5080 fax. 



3n Mtmoxiam 

Adolph William Mall, husband of Barbara S. Mall, 
died shortly before Tlianksgiving. For many years 
they attended LCSNA meetings, even venturing 
as far as Los Angeles for our last meeting at the 
Huntington Library. Trained in physics and math- 
ematics, he had a lifelong interest m the theater, 
staring in many amateur productions and, more 
recently, was a featured actor in David Mamet's 
Homicide. Donations may be sent to: Hospice of 
Howard County, 5537 Twin Knolls Road Suite 433, 
Columbia, MD 2 1045 or Lithuania Orphans Care, 
2711 West 7 1st Street, Chicago, IL 6062. 

Actor, direaor, and producer Burgess Meredith 
( 1 907 - September 9th) made his professional debut 
with Eva Le Gallienne's 1933 production ofAll\ 
playing the duck, the dormouse and Tweedledec. 



We have been 
friends since Lewis 
and old Tenniel 
Housed you 
immortally in red 
and gold. 



Answers to Quiz 

1. Vladimir Nabokov, 1923. 

2. Warren Weaver. Actually. Alice in Many Tongues, 

1964. 

3. Frederic Brown, Night of the Jahberwock, 1984. 

4. William Empson, Some Versions of Pastoral. 1960 

5. David delTredici, who won a Pulitzer for his many 

symphonic works based on the Alice books. 

6. Steven Millhauser, who won the Pulitzer in '97 and 

the National Book Award in '96 for Martin 
Dressier: The Tale of an American Dreamer pub- 
lished this story \n Antaeus magazine in 1990. 

II. ( Alistair Cooke, Robinson Duckworth): KL read- 
ers? Any contributions? 



m. 
1.' 

2.' 

3.' 
4.' 
5.' 



...why it is you hate — CandD...'" AW,c\\ 3 
. . . everything that begins with an M .. . '" AW,c\\l 
Of course twinkling begins with a T!" AW, ch. 1 1 
...I /:/7ow it begins with L!" TTKj, ch. 3 
... I love my love with an H . . . '" 777.G, ch. 7 



15 




Leaves from the Deanery Garden 

First things first: "How d'ye do'" - 

Now! I'm a member of the Societies here & in England & 
have just sent in my form for the Centenary Programme in 
Oxford — and before I book my flight I was hoping to 
hook(ah) up with some other members from the Bay Area 
and make a (tea) party of it! (plus, group bookings for first & 
last nights in London, the train to Oxford, etc. ) 

Do you know of anyone getting together such a group I 
might join? 

Molly Martin 
636 Savoy Court 
Walnut Creek CA 94508 
510.934.6864 

KL readers m any geographical area wishing to form such 
a group are welcome to write in. 

1 was interested to read about the 
"Red Queen pnnciple" in KL #55. 
I first came across it in The Lost 
World by Michael Crichton. He 
explains it quite nicely in "lay- 
man" terms. The villain in that 
book is named Lewis Dodgson, I 
believe. I wanted to write and ask 
him about that, but never got 
around to it. 

A well done issue. I would ap- 
preciate hearing any feedback on 
the cards illustration. 1 still don't 
think that the marks are noses. 

Thanks for tlie Canadian content 
It was a very nice appreciation of 
Joe Brabant and I'll do a better 
job reporting tlie next meeting. Do 
you want news of what's hap- 
pening in the great white north 
(and I don't mean Alaska)? 

Dayna McCausland 
Erin, ON, (Zanada 
sheerluck@sympatico.ca 

Yes, we do. Dayna s report appears on p. 1 0. 

It was I (not Fran) was the one who quoted the Web about 
Carroll being tlie "Martin Gardner of liis time". By the way — 
great newsletter. We need more members like this William 
Schaefer. And seeing the question [on the "deck of cards " 
illustration] in KL #55 jogged my memory: B.RolIitz re-en- 
graved the Tenniel plates for the Limited Editions Club pub- 
lication in 1932. These were also used in the numerous Heri- 
tage Press reprints. 

Joel 



Thanks, Joel. And Willi am — / hope I didn 't offend you ter- 
ribly with my pro-technology stance, and I know our read- 
ers would very much welcome further correspondence from 
you. 

Best issue yet. Whole meeting (and play 1 missed) you cap- 
tured well. The Borges piece was well worth publishing (I 
must find out more about tliis Baltassar Gracian — one of the 
many 17th century Jesuits about whom I know nothing). 

The piece on Joe Brabant was nicely done as well. 

Just a word about the type: the KL seems to have been printed 
on a more absorbent paper for a number of letters, especially 
in the larger point size, are beginning to implode. 

And finally a small quibble: on page 2, column 2, line 23, word 
7: "apparati" — if you want to use a Latin plural, this one 
would be "apparatus " because it is a 4th declension noun 
rather than a 2nd declension one. 

August Imholtz 
BeltsvilleMD 






'A'AThtiy-f^ 





I hope the printing problems 
will be cleared up in this is- 
sue, as we are improving our 
various apparatus. 

Undoubtedly noticed before, 
but new to me: the book of Job 
is the only book in the Bible 
(KJV) with exactly 42 chapters. 

Earl Abbe 
McLean VA 

In the next newsletter, you 
might wish to note the exist- 
ence of a software package, 
which I obtained at no charge 
at a booth at SIGGRAPR called 
"Alice" — authoring software 
for 3d graphics in Win 95/NT, 
developed by the User Inter- 
face Group at CMU. Both the 
booklet cover and the enclosed 
CD-ROM have color Tenniel illustrations. 

The booklet says this software was developed with DARPA 
money, which may be the first time the DoD has promoted 
Alice, even if indirectly. Seems very un Victorian. . not sure 
Carroll, or your friend William Schaefer, would approve. Ac- 
tually, though, it's not the first time DoD has promoted a 
Victorian female — the DoD-sponsored programming lan- 
guage "Ada" was named after Ada Lovelace, a friend of 
Charles Babbage and the first person to program a (very 
primitive) computer. So maybe Carroll would approve after 
all. 

Jonathan Handel 
x(S),woridnet.att.net 







16 




SIGGRAPI I: Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics. 
DARPA: Department of Defense (DoD) Advanced Research 
Projects Agency 
CMU: Carnegie Mellon University 

Their website, which allows for the free downloading of this 
package, is at http://www. cs. emu. edu/~alice and begins with 
the quote: " A display connected to a digital computer gives 
us a chance to gain familiarity with concepts not realizable 
in the physical world. It is a looking glass into a math- 
ematical wonderland. ' - Ivan Sutherland, father of interac- 
tive computer graphics. " 

I've just finished building a few web sites that might be of 
interest to your readers: point your browser at http://www- 
personal.usyd.edu.au/~mwsmith/boojuni!. html (the 
"Boojum!" home page), and see what you get. Follow the 
links to "Mrs. Hargreaves Remembers" and so on. 

If you think your readers would find these interesting and/or 
informative. I would be grateful if you were to mention them 
in your newsletter. Many thanks! 

Martin Wesley-Smith 

Sydney. Australia 

mwsmi th@mail . usyd.edu.au 

Wesley-Smith s excellent "Boojum " is a full-length work of 
"choral nonsense theatre " available on double CD. "Mrs. 
Hargreaves Remembers " is a piece for soprano and instru- 
mental ensemble. 

I have a more economical solution to the "Jacob's Ladder" 
puzzle from KL 55: sword, sward, shard, share. But I'm no 
biblical scholar, and don't have a concordance to same, so I 
can't say that either "sward" or "shard" is in any English 
version of the Bible. 

I enthusiastically second what you wrote in reply to William 
Schacfer's letter bemoaning "electronic writing". I tell all my 
correspondents that they will get a reply much sooner if they 
communicate with me via e-mail (rather than on paper). And 
this is not just because the message arrives in a matter of 
seconds (well, sometimes hours) rather than days: the me- 
dium is simply a great deal more conducive to swift reaction. 

As for comparing the Web and e-mail to television, the idea 
had never occurred to me. I find they have extremely little in 
common, apart from the fact that all three involve the use of 
a TV-type screen. But television remains essentially a pas- 
sive experience, whereas exploring the Web and creating e- 
mail are intensely active pursuits. 

On the other hand, your statement that mail was delivered 
five times a day in Dodgson's England does suggest that not 
all change has been for the best over the past hundred years. 

I greatly enjoy reading the Knight Letter. Keep up the good 
work! 



Carleton W. Carroll (not a pseudonym) 
Corvallis and Yachats. Oregon 
76 16 1 . 1477(^compuserve.com 





Thank you, Carleton. Unfortunately, neither word is in the 
KJV.And what am / to do with the comment that you "don 't 
have a concordance to same" in a letter defending the 
Web? It 'sfull of them! A particularly good one is at http: / 
bible.gospelcom.net/bihle? . 

After many attempts and failures, I am proud to announce 
the up and running George Walker web site. 1 have a web 
page with a picture of the Alice book 1 illustrated as well as 
my CV and other stuff. My web site is located at http:// 
www3.sympatico.ca/george. walker. 

George Walker 
Toronto 

George is the illustrator of several fine Alice books, de- 
tailed in KL 55. 

I can tell you now that the Borges (translation in AX 55| looks 
almost as Borges, and that you have accomplished a good 
work. Thanks! About Stilman, he looks a little pediintic, but 
you know him better than I: I suppose he's a little pedantic! 
I have read also Mac Adam's paper Of course, I discover 
with pleasure this relation between Borges and Carroll But 
the thesis itself is, in my opinion, excessively elaborate. What 
he says about Borges is far more intelligent (perhaps be- 
cause it is far more informative) than what he says about 
Carroll. 

But I'm suffering a sad sickness: I am finding literacy and 
criticism unnecessary, because I'm reading my own notes! 
Against this argument, you cannot tell anything. 

As ever, I'm progressing in my elaboration of the worst En- 
gUsh in the world, and remain. 

Your friend, 

Eduardo Stilman 
stilmantoiovemet.com.ar 

Sr. Stilman, whose translation of the Alice books into Span- 
ish was graced with an introduction by his friend Jorge 
Luis Borges, is referring to the chapter "Lewis ( ^arroll and 
Jorge Luis Borges: Mock Epic as Autobiography" in Tex- 
tual Confrontations: Comparative Readings in Latin Ameri- 
can Literature by A IfredMac A dam. University of( 'hicago. 
1987. 

I'd hke to add my congratulations to you for the work you arc 
doing to maintain and stimulate interest in the work of Lewis 
Carroll [this was addressed to the Webmaster of our site 
(Joel)]. I really have enjoyed both the information and the 
perceptions. 

I am a freelance actor / producer / director living and working 
in London. One of my recent projects was to record a perfor- 
mance of "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland " given by the 
eminent English actor Sir Donald Sindcn Tliis lias now been 
completed with an original and sympathetic score of music 
and sound effects. 1 expect it to be released as a double CD 
within the next six montlis. However, the mood of the record- 




17 




ing is so evocative that 1 believe it could be adapted to make 
a soundtrack for a computer generated production or se- 
quence. This type of creative activity is nightmarishly ex- 
pensive to experiment with and so I don't think it would be 
'commercial' at this stage 

However I wondered if any of you readers are interested in 
exploring this or other ideas to further exploit my recording. 
All suggestions carefully considered. 

Charles Baillie,CBE 
57 Queen's Gate Mews 
London SW7 England 
Tel 01 71 5897100 
cbaillie@dircon.co.uk 

Dear Mark, 

I'm sure you did not intend to cause a problem, but the inac- 
curacies in your writeup of my talk [in KL 55] are serious. 

First, in the first paragraph of the right column of what should 
be page 3 (unnumbered), your comment that there is an infi- 
nite number of such triangles is incorrect! And the suggested 
doubling of the two that Dodgson found, as well as the { 1 5, 
112,113} you offer will NOT have an area of 2 10 — which is 
the essential ingredient in this problem. Dodgson couldn't 
find the third triangle because this is a really difficult prob- 
lem! 

Secondly, your writeup suggests that I said what actually is 
your commentary: like the "apparent hocus-pocus" in the 
next paragraph, the "obsessions" you refer to in the third 
paragraph — which I don't believe they were, etc. 

You miglit also consider numbering pages in future issues. 

Please retract the entire writeup giving the reasons I have 
outlined above. 

Sincerely, 

Fran [Abeles] 

Dear Fran, 

Thank you for writing, and I really do hope we can clear 
this up. 

Firstly, any article written in the first person is bound to be 
seen as reflected through that person s perceptions, preju- 
dices, strengths, failings, vocabulary, and attitude. That's a 
journalistic "given ". 

Secondly, we must distinguish between an informal write- 
up which attempts to give the favor of a meeting to those 
who were not fortunate enough to be there and a formal 
academic presentation. 

For example, the "apparent hocus-pocus" is certainly how 
the machinations of the date calculations appear to the lay 
audience. Trained mathematicians such as you and I will 
see it differently, but I am trying to write from the 
"everyman s "point of view. 




Thirdly, remarks m parenthesis are the known provenance 
of the writer, or editor, hence the "Dodgson, the lonely bach- 
elor etc. " insertion will be perceived as my comments, not 
yours. I assume our audience is intelligent enough to make 
these distinctions. 

Now, on to the basic disagreement. The primary subject of 
the speech was Martin Gardener, and it was to his writings 
that I turned for conjirmation when I was researching and 
writing. I quote directly from his article: "Actually there is 
no limit to the number of right triangles that can be found 
with integral sides and equal areas... Carroll came very 
close to finding three such triangles... Had Carroll doubled 
the size of the two triangles that he found, he would have 
obtained the first two triangles cited above, from which the 
step to the third would have been easy. " 

There, you see, is the source for my remark about infinitely 
many such triplets and that it would have been "easy" for 
Carroll to have found. I do also acknowledge that I could 
have been a lot more clear in my explanation. 

Now, of course I realize that we are looking at two different 
problems: the one proposed by Carroll and discussed by 
Gardener which involves the finding of three integral-sided 
equal area triangles (whose simplest solution I mentioned in 
the article and, again, involved the doubling of the ones he 
had already found); and the much more difficult one of dis- 
covering the third rational-sided triangle whose area 
matched that of the two he had discovered The solution you 
presented to that second problem was ingenious, but may I 
inquire: was your source Gardener? Dudeney? Your own 
researches? Yes, this is a much more complicated problem, 
but was it really the one at hand? 

I can t imagine what you mean by retracting the entire write- 
up. I 'm very happy to publish, in your words or mine, the 
tale of the possible misinterpretations or misrepresentations. 
You are welcome to submit a letter or an article, or I can 
write up the substance of our correspondence and acknowl- 
edge what is mine and what is yours, and how the confusion 
occurred (and this time, I promise to run it by you before it 
is printed!). 

Sincerely, 

Mark 

Dear Mark, 

The solution to Dodgson 's problem of finding the third ratio- 
nal-sided right triangle having the same area was given by 
the Scottish mathematician, C. Tweedie in 1905. Gardner dealt 
with the simpler subproblem of integer-sided right triangles 
having the same area, relying on Dudeney's work for the 
solutions and comments in his Scientific American article. In 
1996, N. Hungerbiihler proved what Dudeney intuitively 
thought was true, i.e. there exists an infinite family of triples 
of integer-sided right triangles having the same area. 

Regards to your father, 

Fran 




18 




Hi Fran - 

Thank you very much for your note. Unfortunately, I don t 
remember the numbers of the solution you presented to the 
"210" problem, though I recall it was a very acute angle. 
Could you send me the numerical solution, please? 

Much regards, 

Mark 

Dear Mark, 

The solution is {41/ 58, 24360/ 41, 1412881/2378}. 

Hi Fran - 

Thank you again for the solution. Could you clear up a bit 
of confusion on my part? I do understand that the solution 
you sent does fulfill the conditions of Carroll 's problem, i.e. 
to find a third "rational-sided right-angled triangle " which 
has an area of 210, as did his other triangles; my question 
is: why did Martin Gardner in that article, refer to and 
solve the related question of finding "right triangles with 
integral sides and equal areas. " This, to me, is a very differ- 
ent question. 

I hope to clear it all up for the readers in KL 56. Do you 
have any input on this issue? 

Appreciatively, 

Mark 

Dear Mark, 

Your question is, of course, the right one to ask. I honestly 
don't know the answer. 

With best wishes, 

Fran 

Readers (if we haven t lost all of you) should know how 
deeply I respect Dodgson 's mathematical oeuvre and his 
mental calculating abilities, as well as the minds and works 
of Fran Abeles and Martin Gardner If there was any 
misperception on this, I sincerely apologize. And I hereby 
inaugurate page-numbering for this and future issues, as a 
salute to Professor Abeles. 





Thanks again for all the kind words about me in the latest 
Knight Letter. It's a great issue, rich in new insights and 
possible notes if Fever get a chance to do a Still More Anno- 
tated Alice\ 

I recently picked up a copy of Vincent Starrett's book of 
poems titled Brillig (Chicago: The Dierkes Press, 1949). 1 
found in it the enclosed charming poem about Alice Starrett, 
as I'm sure you know, was a Chicago critic and poet, author 
of many books including one on Sherlock Holmes. He wrote 
a weekly column in the Chicago Tribune. His Alice poem 
probably appeared earUer in some periodical. 

The Knight Letter is slowly turning into a periodical of more 
interest, or surely as much interest, as Jabberwocky. 

I have just finished writing a new Oz book, currently being 
considered by St. Martin's Press. (My wife predicts a rejec- 
tion). I mention it because 1 have placed Wonderland in Oz, 
and several chapters are devoted to Dorothy, Scarecrow, and 
Tin Woodman, taking a tour through Wonderland where they 
discover numerous errors in Alice's two out-of-body visits 
there. 

All best, 

Martin Gardner 
Hendersonville NC 

// is an honor indeed to receive this letter I have taken the 
liberty of printing the poem he referred to on p. 15. And let 
us hope his wife is wrong! 

You may want to put in the Knight Letter that Martin Gardner 
has been elected to the Literature Section of the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

With best wishes. 



Fran 
So done. 





PEANUTS Charles Schulz 



YES, ^OO^ WONOR.THIS IS MV 
CLIENT, ALICE, THE INJUREP 
PARTV, UUHO FELL DOWN 
THE RABBIT- MOLE 




UE INTEND TO PROVE 
NE6LI6ENCE ON THE PART 
OF THE PROPERTV OWNER FOR 
FAILING TO POST A WARNING 
5I6N B'f TME RABBIT-MOLE.. 




19 



Serendipity 



The earliest and most horrific image of my child- 
hood, as deeply embedded in my consciousness as any "real" 
event (and I lived on a small farm, where the slaughtering of 
chickens must have been frequent) sprang at me out of a 
seemingly bemgn children's book, Lewis Carroll 's/1//ce 's Ad- 
ventures Through the Looking-Glass \sic\. In the conclud- 
ing chapter of this generally disturbing book Alice is being 
crowned Queen at a banquet that begins with promise then 
rapidly degenerates into anarchy: 

"Take care of yourselT" screamed the White Queen, seiz- 
ing Alice's hair with both hands "Something's going to 
happen!" 

And then . . all sorts of things happened in a moment. 
The candles all grew up to the ceiling ... As to the bottles, 
they each took a pair of plates, which they hastily fitted 
on as wings, and so, with forks for legs, went fluttering 
about in all directions . . 

At this moment she heard a hoarse laugh at her side, 
and turned to see what was the matter with the White 
Queen, but, instead of the Queen, there was the leg of 
mutton sitting in the chair. "Here 1 am!" cried a voice 
from the soup tureen, and Alice turned again, just in 
time to see the Queen's broad, good-natured face grin- 
ning at her for a moment over the edge of the tureen, 
before she disappeared into the soup. 

There was not a moment to be lost. Already several of 
the guests were lying down in the dishes, and the soup 
ladle was walking up toward Alice's chair . . . 

Alice escapes the nightmare prospect of being eaten 
by waking from her dream as, in her Wonderland adventure, 
she woke from that dream. But what solace, if the memory 
retams the unspeakable, and the unspeakable can't be re- 
duced to a dream? 

Joyce Carol Oates, "Reflections on the Grotesque" 
Originally published in Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque 

No work of art so thrills us, or possesses the power 
to enter our souls deeply and perhaps even irreversibly, as 
the "first" of its kind. The luminous books of our childhood 
will remain the luminous books of our lives. 

For me, it was Lewis Carroll's yl//ce 's Adventures in 
Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, a Christmas 
gift from my grandmother when I was 8 years old. First of all, 
1 was enchanted by the book as a physical object, for there 
were few books in our rural household: both Alice tales were 
published in a single, wonderful volume (Grosset & Dunlap, 
1 946) with reproductions of the famous illustrations by John 
Tenniel, almost as fascinating to me as the tales themselves. 
There was a dreamlike cover showing Alice amid the comi- 
cal-grotesque Carroll creations that, to an adult eye, bear a 
disturbing kinship with the comical-grotesque creations of 
Hieronymus Bosch, and this cover, too, was endlessly fasci- 
nating. In my memory, this first important book of my life was 
quite large, about the size of what we call today a coffee- 
table book, and heavy; but when I investigate — for of course 
I still have the book in my 19th-century British bookcase, 
along with The Hunting of the Snark, Lewis Carroll's Bed- 



side Book, and other Carroll titles — 1 discover to my sur- 
prise that it measures only 61/2 by 9 inches! A quite ordinary- 
sized book after all. 

What is the perennial appeal of ihQ Alice books? If 
you could transpose yourself into a girl of 8, in 1946, in a 
farming community in upstate New York north of Buffalo, 
imagine the excitement of opening so beautiful a book to 
read a story in which a girl of about your age is the heroine; 
imagine the excitement of being taken along with Alice, who 
talks to herself continually, just like you, whose signature 
phrase is "Curiouser and curiouser", on her fantastic yet 
somehow plausible adventure down the rabbit hole, and into 
the Wonderland world. It would not have occurred to me 
even to suspect that the "children's tale" was in brilliant 
ways coded to be read by adults and was in fact an English 
classic, a universally acclaimed intellectual tour deforce and 
what might be described as a psychological / anthropologi- 
cal dissection of Victorian England. It seems not to have 
occurred to me that the child-Alice of drawing rooms, ser- 
vants, tea and crumpets and chess, was of a distinctly differ- 
ent background than my own. I must have been the ideal 
reader: credulous, unjudging, eager, thrilled. I knew only that 
I believed in Alice, absolutely. 

The influence oi{\\Q Alice books on my inner life is 
surely incalculable. I'd more or less memorized them as a 
child from repeated readings. (I've subsequently written on 
the subject, and have several times taught "Alice" in univer- 
sity courses.) At any time, in any place, appropriate or other- 
wise, including even listening as I'm being introduced to 
give readings or lectures, and often in social or professional 
gatherings, the Alice-voice rises to consciousness and 1 hear 
"Curiouser and curiouser" — "Who cares for you? You're 
nothing but a pack of cards!" — "Twas brilhg and the slithy 
toves / Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; /All mimsy were the 
borogoves, /And the mome raths outgrabe" — "Take care of 
yourself! Something's going to happen!" Impossible to know 
if a fictitious character has provided me with a "voice", or 
whether my natural voice was nearly identical with Alice's. 

To descend down a rabbit hole, to push through a 
mirror in a drawing room, to enter that "other world" of the 
imagination — this is Alice's destiny, as it might be said to be 
our collective destiny, if only we value it and cultivate it. For 
the artist of any kind, the experience is life itself What is 
most wonderful about the "Alice" tales, for a child reader at 
least, is that though they contain nightmare material, and are, 
intermittently, really quite fiightening, Ahce triumphs in the 
end; she retains a fundamental reason, fair-mindedness and 
sense of justice, as well as a necessary sense of humor, and 
at the end of both adventures she "wakes" to her real life 
about which we know nothing other than that she has a 
sister and there are several kittens in the household. Not for 
Alice, our Alice, the fate of children in the cruder of the fairy 
tales of the Brothers Grimm, for Alice is the self's very obdu- 
racy, forever innocent, and blessed. 

Joyce Carol Oates, "Personal Best" 

Originally published in Salon Magazine 

http://www.salonmagazine.com 



20 



Books 

Liisa, Liisa ja Alice. Matkakirja. (In 
Finnish) Riitta Oittinen. Tampere Uni- 
versity Press. Tampere. 1997. 162 pp. Il- 
lustrated. 95 M4^2 16-4. This book "dis- 
cusses the three complete Finnish trans- 
lations of /I jr. They were all made in dif- 
ferent kinds of cultural situations: 1906, 
nationahst Finland; 1 972. Finland of 'die 
neue Sachlichkeit'; 1995, splintered Fin- 
land." The book also holds Ms. 
Oittinen's own illustrations, including 
eight color plates, taju@uta.fr, http:// 
www.uta.fi/~trrioi/liisa.htm. 

Kirjeitd lapsiystaville ja muita kir- 
joituksia. Translated by Markus Lang 
into Finnish. Helsinki, Loki-Kiijat. An 
anthology of Carroll's lesser-known 
works, including letters to child friends, 
"Feeding the Mind", the Russian Jour- 
nal, and many others. $2 1 . 952-9646-24- 
0. The edition will be limited to 1 ,000. 

Cathy Bowem, who lives on the Isle of 
Wight and is the author of yl Looking- 
Glass Sequel (1993), and 77?^ Raven and 
the Riddle (1994) has added two new 
works to her oeuvre. The Snark De- 
coded promises to be an "in-depth 
analysis [in which] all previous theo- 
ries have been completely overturned. 
Far from being an innocent and mean- 
ingless children's poem, as the author 
claimed, it is a savage parody and a com- 
plexly encoded web of intrigue... The 
text is actually heavily encrypted around 
the central theme of the magic cube." It 
promises: the answer to "Life, the Uni- 
verse and Everything", to The Riddle; 
and to reveal "a verbal attack on the 
Poet Laureate himself, Termyson, as well 
as a particularly vitriolic broadside 
against Henry Liddell." The Hunting of 
the Snark Concluded "follows the for- 
tunes of the crew after the disappear- 
ance of the Baker". Brian Puttock, "us- 
ing a genre of book illustrations popu- 
lar in Carroll's day", has created "a set 
of 38 superb new grotesques". Circa 
£ 10 each from Angerona Press, 1 9 Star 




Street, Ryde, l.o.W. P033 2HX, U.K.; 
http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/snark/; 
snark@zetnet.co.uk. See also the review 
"Snarkology" on p. 11. 

Rediscovered Lewis Carroll Puzzles 
newly compiled and edited by Edward 
WakeUng. New York: Dover $4.95. ISBN 
0-«56-28861-7. 

The Workhorse Library series of Elec- 
tronic Paperbacks for OS/2, Windows 
3.x. and Windows/95 has just published 
an A Jf' on CD-ROM with "24 new, origi- 
nal pieces of artwork done by Lucy 
Gaynor. an international children's art- 
ist. The voice characterizations are by 
Braden Bell, an actor and a children's 
drama instructor." You can view the text, 
look at the illustrations, or have the text 
read out loud to you (or your child). 
$15 from http://www.qvision.net; or 
info@qvision.net. 1-891595-04-0; 

An Embarrassment of Corpses by Alan 
Beechey, St. Martin's Press, "The book 
begins with two writers of children's 
books playing 'The Hunting of The 
Snark'. One dies in Trafalgar Square's 
fountain, and the other delves into solv- 
ing his death. Not only does this witty, 
punny and delightful tale have several 
references to Carroll, the feeling you 
have when reading it is almost like fall- 
ing down the rabbit hole." - Diane 
Plumley 0-312-16936-1; http://www. 
concentric.net/~Alanbee/home.htm. 

Lewis Carroll: Selected Poems edited 
by Keith Silver. This includes the well- 
known pieces as well as a biographical 
and critical introduction by Silver. 
Carcanet Books, UK 1996 trade paper- 
back at £7. Available in the US from Paul 
& Company, c/o PCS Data Processing. 
360 W 3 1 St. . New York, NY 1 000 1 . $ 1 3 
for the trade paper edition. 



The Brideshead Generation: Evelyn 
Waugh and his Friends, Humphrey Car- 
penter, Houghton Mifllm, 1990, 0-395- 
44 142-0, pp. 158-169 explores Waugh 's 
thesis that /I Jf is a "sustained mockery 
of reUgion". Carpenter refers to his own 
article "'Ahce and the Mockery of God", 
in Secret Gardens: the Golden Age of 
Children's Literature, 1985. 



Too Cool, Gene Sculatti, cc/., St. Martin's 
Press, 1993, 0-3 124)8915-5. a guide to 
"the most out-of-sight" cool (in the 
beatnik sense) products begins and 
ends witli pictorial and otiier references 
to Alice, a.k.a. "Sweet Alyssum". in- 
cluding the White Rabbit wearing 
shades, man. 

Alternative Alices: Visions and Revi- 
sions of Lewis Carroll's Alice Books, 
and anthology edited by Carolyn Sigler, 
University of Kentucky. Twenty imita- 
tions, revisions, or parodies, some ex- 
cerpted, along with their illustrations, 
and all written between 1 869 and 1 930, 
are brought together in this collection. 
The medley is a great service to the 
reader, but marred by Ms. Singer's per- 
sonal agenda which comes forth in her 
introductory comments, as she seems 
to feel that "political correctness" of 
later spin-offs makes them superior to 
the original. $34, 0-8 1 3 1 -2028-4 he, or 
$20, 0-8131 -0932-9 pb; 663 S Limestone 
SL, Lexington KY 40508. 800.839.6855. 

The Classic Tale's Maze Book, by Juliet 
and Charies Snape, $13 from Harry N 
Abrams. It's a large softcovcr book with 
mazes inspired by various children's 
books, including,a faithful journey 
through Wonderland. 0810927551. 

New Publications of the Lewis Carroll 
Society (UK) : 

Diaries of Lewis Carroll, edited by 
Edward Wakeling. The LCS is publish- 
ing the uncut diaries of Lewis Carroll 
These have never before been pub- 
lished in their entirety Tlic first 3 vol- 
umes may be purchased at a cost of 



21 



£25 each It is anticipated that the set 
will consist of 9 volumes. Volume 4 is 
now available. 

Lewis Carroll - Bibliophile contains 
facsimile reproductions of all known 
sale catalogues of Carroll's library, 
fiilly indexed with a major new essay 
on Carroll's collection of books. £21. 

All LCS publications, above, can be 
ordered from Mitchell Templeton, 84 
Spottiswoode Street, Edinburgh, EH9 
1 DJ, UK. Prices shown are postage 
free in UK, plus 10% in mainland Eu- 
rope, plus 15% elsewhere. E-mail Mark 
Richards at 1 00344. 1550@ Compu- 
Serve. com for further information. 

Articles 

"Husserl, Wittgenstein and the Snark: 
Intemationality and Social Naturalism" 
by Grant Gillette, Philosophy andPhe- 
nomenological Research, Vol. LVII, No. 
2, June 1 997. "... examines the general 
philosophical characteristics of 
thoughts of objects from the perspec- 
tive of Husserl's hyle, noesis, and 
noema..." 

"The 'Ozification' of American 
Children's Fantasy Films: The Blue Bird, 
Alice in Wonderland, and Jumanji" by 
Joel D. Chaston, Children 's Literature 
Association Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 1, 
1997. "Ozification" is the borrowing of 
specific elements from the 1939 film 
which tend to overlay the narrative fea- 
tures of Hollywood films onto children's 
texts. 

"Pauvre Alice. . . sur le monde fou oil la 
jeta Lewis Carroll" by Roger Perron in 
Revue Frangaise de PsychanalysQ, Vol. 
LXI,Apnl- June 1997. 

'The construction and reduction of 
strong snarks" by PA. Sinclair, Discrete 
Mathematics, VoX. 167/168 April 1997. 

"'Let it Stop There' : A Statement Paper 
on the Suppression of the 'Wasp in a 
Wig'", Cassandra Morris' graduate 
school thesis is available through inter- 
hbrary loan from Southwest Texas State 
University (San Marcos, TX); http:// 
members . aol . com/DDMorris/carroll . 
html. 



"Alice Through the Zodiac" by sci-fi 
author Everett F. Bleiler, in The Wash- 
ington Post, ^I'im attempts to fit TTLG 
into the typology of the zodiac. He be- 
gins by making a huge case for the fact 
that each of the books have 12 chapters 
— that Carroll deliberately inserted the 
one-sentence Chapter XI in TTLG just 
for this effect — and then conveniently 
misses the fact that the "Wasp in the 
Wig" destroys his argument. As usual 
with such humorless exegeses, huge hb- 
erties are taken to fit square pegs into 
round holes. "Hjckrrh!" 

'The Fallout From Wonderland: The 
Influence of Lewis Carroll on Modern 
SF/Fantasy" by Melanie Miller Fletcher 
http://www.io.com/~hoosier/carroll_ 
page.html. 

The Ultimate Collectible? 

The house known as The Chestnuts, 
Guildford, Surrey, which Dodgson 
rented from 1 868- 1 898, is on currently 
on sale for £750,000. 

Art and Artifacts 

A limited edition of three sets of humor- 
ous soft sculptures by Claire Herz ($750 
for the set of four pieces: Alice (as a 
bear). Caterpillar on a Mushroom, 
"Bunny Blanc" and "Just Rabbit", 9" - 
1 6") is available from The Rocking Horse 
Gallery, 803 Caroline Street, 
Fredericksburg, VA22401; 540.371. 1894, 
Fax: 540.374.1663; rhgbears@aol.com; 
or visit http://www.onewdesign.com/ 
beargallery/wonder html 

An embroidery kit, #FT005, of Alice and 
the White Rabbit from Oklahoma Em- 
broidery Supply & Design, 301 S. Bryant 
B-100,Edmond,OK 73034; 405.359.2741; 
Fax: 405.359.1083; sales@oesd.com; 
visit http://v^^ww.oesd.com/packsl01/ 
6(550005.htm 

Some lovely intaglio engravings from 
'Through The Looking Glass: The Etch- 
ing and Engraving World of John An- 
thony Miller" have Alician themes. The 
original etchings and engravings are 
rendered on 16 gauge copperplate and 
are hand-printed in an edition of 100 to 
250 prints, costing $80 per piece. He is 



also offering a free "poster ( 1 2"x 1 8" on 
cream paper stock) showing an enlarge- 
ment of '"Alice, The White Rabbit and 
Mad Hatter' from my 'Fantasy' engrav- 
ing; from my last (and final! ) art exhibit 
which occurred at The Carnegie Art 
Museum. Send me your address and I 
will send you a signed poster. I can in- 
scribe it to you if you wish. Sent any- 
where in the world, postpaid. I have 
vowed that I will never do a public show- 
ing again, so this will be (is) some kind 
of collectible." 805.641.3844 or 
805.648.2429; Fax: 805.641.1246; 
phantom@phantoms.com; http:// 
www.phantoms. com/~phantom/ 

Michael Osterweil's 40 witty, jewel- 
toned watercolor paintings of the Alice 
characters in an Elizabethan rendering 
are being offered to the public in the 
form of greeting cards and art-quality 
posters. Michael was born in Berlin in 
1932 and now lives in Tempe, AZ. To 
date, two collections of portraits have 
been completed, and a third is currently 
in process. There are forty paintings in 
the ^ ^f^ collection. His imagination and 
technique are astounding. Highly rec- 
ommended! The cards are 5" x 7". Full 
set of 8 cards: $ 16. Or twelve of one im- 
age - $24. The four art-quality posters 
(20" x 28") commemorate the 1998 Lewis 
Carroll Centennial. They are $25 each 
from MC Art Studio, Inc., PO. Box 1027, 
Tempe, AZ 85280; 602.921.7159 or 
888.921.7159; Fax: 602.921.7295; 
mcart@doitnow.com; check out http:// 
www.mcart.com/ 

"Originals by LE" is offering a gallery 
of fine miniature, hand-sculpted origi- 
nal^ J^F figurines, 2"-3'/2" tall, each made 
individually, for around $50 apiece. They 
are "made to be worn as jewelry, but 
they can easily just set on your shelf." 
http: //www. ni dli nk. com/~cdawebde 
sign/alice.html; cdawebdesign 
@nidlink.com (attention: Leigh); Leigh 
Saunders, 1218 Maple Ave, Coeur 
d'Alene ID 83814; 208.667.6556. There's 
a holiday special on pricing, too. 

A "Book of Ornaments" ($ 1 0), die-cut 
note cards ($13) and a set of magnets 
($11) from the MetropoUtan Museum of 
Art catalog. 800.468.7386. 



22 



A Disncvcsque Cheshire Cat "Com- 
puter Topper " ($ 1 3), Mad Hatter giirden 
sculpture ($50) from What on Earth, 
800.945.2552. 

Handcrafted tree ornaments from the 
Poloniuse collection. 8()().863.XMAS. 

"Mad Hatter Tea Party" bookends made 
of hand-painted resin. $60 from the 
Smithsonian catalogue. 800.322.0344. 
SICUSTSVCrc/aolcom; 7955 Agnus 
Court, Spnngfield VA 22153. 

"MagicClolh Doll Collection", a mag- 
netized cloth "paper doll" with travel 
case and 1 outfits, has A IV for $ 1 4. Also 
the have an All' miniature book and por- 
celain tea service for $ 19. Dollmasters. 
8a).966.3655. 

The Tenniel pencil sketches for the 
books are on a series of postcards from 
the Battledore Collection. $10 for a set 
of 10 from Modern Postcard Sales, 
P.O.Box 644. Elkhart, IN 46515. 
219.264.(X)13. 

For next Halloween, children's costumes 
of Alice and the Mad Hatter (sizes 4-14) 
are available for $40 from Lilllian \femon, 
Virginia Beach VA 23479. 8(X).285.5555. 

Steinbach Nutcrackers has just intro- 
duced a new series of A W nutcrackers. 
The first one, the Mad Hatter ($230) is 
available from Across The Bridge, 210 
North Santa Cruz, Los Gatos CA. 
800.813.9585. bridgerrt!value-link.com; 
http://vvww.value-link.com/bridge.html. 
Also from http://vvww.nussknacker 
haus.com or the Hammacher Schlemmer 
catalog: 800.543.3366. 

A 1998^1 Hawaii calendar ($10), pocket 
calendar ($7), laminated magnets ($2 
each), car window signs such as "I Brake 
for Jabberwockys" and "Save the 
Snarks" ($5 each) from Parallel Universe 
Productions, PO. Box 270, Orlando. FL 
32802; http://www.pup. high-speed.com. 

Events 

"Alice in Opera Land" will be presented 
again this year by Donald Pippin's 
Pocket Opera in Walnut Creek CA on 
December 13th; in Mountain View on 
the 14th; and in San Francisco on De- 
cember 20th and 2 1 st. Alice learns about 
the world of opera, sung in English, fea- 



turing the music of Olfenbach, Verdi. 
Rossini, Mozart and so on. For children 
or adults. 4 15.575. 1 102; PocketOperaW 
aol.com. 

AW by the Arizona Youth Theater in 
Tuscon tluough December 2 1 , 520.790. 

"Lewis Carroll in Greenwich Village", a 
lecture by Dr. Morton Cohen given at 
the Bobst Library of NYU Nov. 20th, 
1997. 

.4{rby the Gorilla Repertory Theatre 
Company toured various Manhattan 
venues, including parking lots and 
parks, this autumn, winding up as part 
of the First Annual New York Interna- 
tional Fringe Festival. Vince Lanza saw 
it and called it "faithful and rambunc- 
tious". 

An exhibition oL^ W^ photo-illustrations 
by Carmela Llobet, Nov. 14th 1997 to 
Jan. 8th 1998 in the Center Forum Can 
Baste in Barcelona, Spain. 

Maria Bodmann's "Bali & Beyond" is a 
perfomiing arts company inspired by the 
cultures of Indonesia. The Los Ange- 
les based ensemble tours nationwide, 
featuring a variety of music, theater, and 
educational presentations. One of their 
presentations is "Alice in the Shadows" 
an AW rendering done in Balinese 
shadow-puppet style, with "rock clas- 
sics and original songs" in the back- 
ground. Booking info: 818.768.7696; 
gamelanrrtibalibeyond.com; http:// 
www.balibeyond.com/gamelan/ 
alice.html 

The "Cultural Curios" exhibit at the 
Morgan Library in Manhattan (ninning 
through January 4th of next year) con- 
tains literary objets, including Alice 
Liddell's beige quilted purse with blue 
embroidery, and Charles Lutwidge 
Dodgson's pocket watch. 

Hand Bookbinders of California's 25th 
Anniversary Exhibition featured 
Eleanore Ramsey's binding of the 
Cheshire Cat Press' A Wixom the collec- 
tion of Sandor Burstein. 

Vince Collins' 1982 cartoon Malice in 
Wonderland was shown at the Forbid- 
den Animation screenings at the Red 



Vic in San Francisco on November 16th 
and 17th It qualified for this exhibition 
by having being banned by a feminist 
convention. 

"Le Snark ", adapte etjoiie par /•'abrice 
Eherhard \\i\s shown on French televi- 
sion on 24 September A CD with the 
printed text is available from Once Again 
Productions, 01 47 08 64 75 phone; 01 
47 16 12 13 fax; lavalfrt)club-internet fr 

" Alizii in Wonderland" poster from the 
"History of the Jewish Child" exhibition 
features a b/w illustration from the 1940 
Hebrew version and is available for $ 10 
from Friends of the Library, The Jewish 
Theological Seminary of America, 3080 
Broadway, New York NY 10027; 
2 1 2.678.8000; http://wwvv.jtsii.edu 

The Syracuse University Library, Spe- 
cial Collections, is the recipient of the 
generous donation of the 700 piece 
Carroll collection of Kathleen ("Kay") 
Rossman. A reception was held on Oc- 
tober 16th. 




23 



For help in preparing this issue thanks are due to: Earl Abbe, Ralph Blair, Hilda Bohem, Sandor Burstein, Wendy 
Chevrier, Johanna Hurwits, August Imholtz, Lou Kruh, Vito Lanza, Lucille Posner, Kathleen Rossman, Diane Scott, 
Mark Stoll, Charles Stats, Stephanie Stoffel, Claude Weil, and Sue Welsch. 

Knighl Letter is the official newsletter of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. It is published several times a year 
and is distributed free to all members Subscriptions, business correspondence, and inquiries should be addressed to 
the Secretary, 18 Fitzharding Place, Owing Mills MD21I17. Annual membership dues are U.S. $20 (regular) and $50 
(sustaining). Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to the Editor, Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942. 

President; Joel Birenbaum, joel.birenbaum@lucent.com Secretary: Ellie Luchinsky, eluchin@erols.com 

Editor: Mark Burstein, wrabbit@worldpassage.net 
Lewis Carroll Society of North America Home Page: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/